How to Manage Chaos at Work
Vellayan Subbiah: Sadhguru, your analogy of a manicured garden versus a jungle, it is very similar to this thought of basically, structure versus chaos. Is it important for leaders to manage in a state of chaos, or do they need to bring that chaos down to a more structured way? For the corporate world, how do leaders need to think about that? Should they let the chaos kind of evolve into itself? Do they need to bring more structure to it?
Sadhguru: Chaos is not a choice. The choice that you have made is to reap out of the existing chaos. If you choose to make something chaotic, that will be stupid. It will go somewhere else.
Something looks chaotic not necessarily because it is chaotic but simply because you have a linear mind and something does not fit into your straight line, so you think it is out of order.
For a gardener’s mind, a jungle will look chaotic. But no, there is a very deep order there. That is why a forest will live for millions of years and a garden will not last for a month without maintenance. People are thinking of something as chaos because they have an external view of things. They do not have an internal, integrated view of that. If you understand the ecosystem – today, slowly human beings are beginning to understand – we understand that is the greatest order because that is the only thing which has lived for millions of years.
Stuck in Straight Lines
A snake will not move in a straight line. This does not mean its mobility is not good. Just travel without using your limbs, let me see. Without limbs, the snake has found a way and he is very effective. He finds his own way of life, he chooses his terrain accordingly and he manages.
So this is about different types of lives, different types of people, different types of terrains, different types of activities – to reap the best out of it, you have to harness that, rather than beating everyone into one type of system, because in that, you may produce some level of efficiency, but you will destroy people and situations. Essentially, you will destroy the existing ecology and try to create something new.
For example, to build anything in the ashram, we have never bought a bulldozer and leveled any land. Whichever way the terrain is, I design accordingly and build on that. When I go to the US for example, I see with great distress that if they want to build fifty houses, they just level out fifty acres completely. This is the worst thing you can do. You have no sense of how much life you are disturbing.
You think order means it must be in a particular way. No, there is a different kind of order, and if you do not allow that within the human mind, within the human consciousness and in the actions that we perform, then we become straight lines. Maybe somebody else appreciates us, but we are miserable doing what we are doing simply because we are straitjacketed all the time about how we should be and how we should do.
Instead of harnessing everything to its best the way it is, you want to turn everything the way you think it should be. This is essentially because you think too much of yourself. You think you are better than the natural forces that are working, which have shaped everything the way it has been shaped.
The Order of the Jungle
So chaos is not a choice. There is always a certain order, which is not logically correct. The order of the jungle is not logically correct, but it is the best order because it has lasted longer than anything else. Everyone is talking about building sustainable businesses. If you want a sustainable business, you must take to the order of the jungle.
Today, in India, we use the phrase “jungle raj” (Referring to the Hindi word – rule) because people believe a jungle means disorder. I am using the word “jungle” as a very superior order. It is a highly sophisticated order where you do not see any straight lines, but still everything is in place. Everything is in such a way that it can function like this for a million years and still last. That is definitely a superior order, isn't it?