There was a story about a tech worker who outsourced his entire job, outperformed his entire department, and then got fired. If you asked me, which you didn’t, I think he deserves the workforce equivalent of an Academy Award.
There is an important Kabbalistic principle that we have to work for six days each week, but not work too hard. As soon as we get over-caught-up in the means of production, we can quickly turn our labour into a form of idolatory. We might believe that we are the creator and that we are totally responsible for all of our results, rather than attributing blessing and failure to a higher power(1). This also connects to the idea of ‘shefach’ or Divine Flow. Kabbalah means ‘receive’ and the aim is to be in a state of receiving blessing rather than having to work hard for it.
One of my favourite business books is the The Four Hour Workweek. Tim Ferris’ masterpiece breaks down systems and methodologies for outsourcing every menial task in your life, and – if you are sufficiently creative – some of the not-so-menial ones. Why slog your guts out doing administration when you can outsource it to a perfectly capable English-speaker in Bangladesh? We are truly living in a global economy where it is easier than ever to send your scans and dictation files across the seas, so why not keep the money flowing and maintain your own Kabbalistic balance.
The benefit of a six-day work week – or a four-hour one if you can manage it – is that there is time off to recognise a Higher Power. The purpose of every yoga and meditation practice is to realign ourselves with the source of the universe, and to remind ourselves that there is more to life than the next deadline that our boss or client has created.
We are a soul, a spirit, and as such we are capable of infinitely great things. Sometimes all we need is the time to remember and to remind ourselves of what is truly possible. Why not start now? Head over to odesk.com, hire your first Virtual Assistant, and start getting creative.
HOW TO USE THIS IN THE BOARDROOM: Consider where you can be more efficient at work and where you have been a slave to deadlines. Are there tasks that you can outsource? Are there opportunities to connect more to your source and/or a Higher Power? What is your ultimate mission here on the planet?
HOW TO USE THIS IN ON THE YOGA MAT: Consider whether you can be more efficient when getting into your next yoga pose. Where can you work less and focus more?
Based on Parshat Vayakhel, Exodus 25:2. Teaching from the Lubavitcher Rebbe in Likutei Sichot, vol 1., p187-190 as retold in Chumash Shemot (Kehot), p271: “Work may be done for six days: the use of the passive voice (“work shall be done”) to describe work teaches us that we must not invest all our energies in doing it; we should so to speak, almost allow it to happen ‘by itself'”. A beautiful teaching!