Simon Kemp: One of the challenges we face as marketers and brands is that we spend a lot of time thinking about the way people perceive us from the outside world without looking inside. How can businesses look at their inward transformation?
Sadhguru: There is a fundamental flaw in this process. Without enhancing yourself, you are trying to enhance your activity. It’s like taking a Vauxhall and trying to drive it on an F1 track. It’s bound to fall apart. Instead of dreaming of winning an F1 race if you build a machine which is capable of doing whatever it’s supposed to do, then whether it wins or not is subject to what others have done. Whether you win a race or not simply depends on how good or bad other people are. But when we do something are we functioning from the highest possibility within us, or from the lowest possibility, or somewhere in between, is a big question. And you do not know what your highest possibility is. For every other creature in this planet nature has drawn two lines. But for human beings there is only the bottomline and no topline. So it does not matter what you become, you still do not know whether you hit the peak or not. Only those people interested in winning races with crippled people have hit the peak.
No matter what you have done there is always a chance that you can do more. Enhancing the machine and human mechanism is most important. Whether you win the race or not is not important. Then everything will be enhanced. The greatest disaster in the planet is that people who have no clarity, have confidence.
Kemp: Many of the brands in the world do not have clarity, but represent confidence ...
That’s why you see a lot of loud advertising because they have no clarity but a lot of confidence.
How do we help people gain clarity without focusing too much on the confidence? Even if we speak from your experience, where did you find that clarity yourself?
You are who you are only on the matter of what you perceived. What you have not perceived is not you, isn’t it? Whether you are consciously aware of this or not, how people experience you is based on whatever we have perceived. Instead of enhancing perception, we are again trying to enhance expression. You are in the space of social media. People are forever expressing on every topic no matter whether they know something or not. This is the age of expression without perception. It’s a disaster.
People are becoming who they are because of what they express and not because of what they have perceived. The nature of life is such that only what you have perceived is you. Right now, because you picked bits and pieces from around the world, you can express all kinds of things you don’t know enough about.
The big problem with our industry is that we are collecting lots of information and accumulating lots of gadgets without experiencing it. We have gigabytes of data that are probably not being put to good use ...
When you byte (bite) so much, you will bloat (laughs). And it’s not healthy.
How do translate the desire to learn from data to make the action of learning valuable? How do we move along that journey?
There is a fundamental flaw in that question. You belong to a generation that is goal-oriented. That means you are interested in the sweetness of the mango, but not interested in the tree. You live in a generation where mangoes come from the supermarket and not from a tree. But if you have a mango tree in your garden you have to think soil, manure, water, sunlight. There are no mangoes in your mind. Mangoes will happen. In other words, you are too interested in the consequence but not in the process that causes the consequence. This is goal-orientedness.
In Yoga we say, if you have one eye on the goal, you have only one eye to find your way. Hence it’s inefficient. If you used both your eyes to find your way, according to your capability, you will go as far as you can go. That means you are not concerned how far somebody is going. You want to go as far as you can go. That’s what you are interested in. But right now the goal-orientedness means that you are only interested in going one step further than your neighbour. The only joy that you have in your life is somebody is doing worse than you. I think that’s a sick mind.
How can we get our peers from marketing to move away from goal-orientedness?
From digital to divine (laughs).
Where do we find the divine? We need to let people find the alternative to what is flawed …
Tell me one thing. You can look at Mr Usain Bolt for the inspiration. That’s alright. But if you try to run like him, you will break your legs. That’s all that will happen.
Because somebody mastered that you can use him as inspiration but don’t try to do it. It’s like a Vauxhall trying to behave like a Ferrari.
Often marketers look at the competitive landscape …
That’s the biggest mistake. Maybe you can hit the ball better than Sachin Tendulkar. The possibility is there. So why do you want to limit yourself to Tendulkar’s standards? There was a time when nobody believed that an individual would reach 100 runs in a cricket match only within 30-40 overs. Then Sanath Jayasuriya hit a century within 20 overs. Now people are hitting within 10 overs. In this case, they are not thinking about what somebody did.
So if you become goal-oriented, your goals are often determined by other’s capabilities. You will never do what you could have done. Maybe you could never hit a ball. But you could do something else way better than anybody else. But you would never do that because you go on trying to hit the ball that you cannot hit.
You spoke about the concept of memory-less intelligence. How can a marketer access his ‘chittha’?
Marketers cannot access that. Human beings can. When I was at the World Economic Forum people kept referring to India as an emerging market. I say we are not a marketplace. Once you look at a country as a marketplace, you are going to put some nonsense that you have created and then try to convince them that they must drink this, eat this, or use this. If I saw you as a human being and I am concerned about you and your well-being I would see what you need. If I made what you need, I need not market it. Manufacturing is all that would be needed.
Right now you are doing things that people do not need and you have to convince them that they need it. You may end up convincing a generation. Older generations were convinced that smoking tobacco was a must – otherwise you are not man enough. But now suddenly it is not so good. This is what a marketing man will do.
In that world what does marketing become?
Both you and I are manufacturing something that consumers want. But now I am trying to tell consumers that what I am manufacturing is what he really wants. Not what you are doing. Actually, that’s the truth (laughs).