Sadhana is a Sanskrit word that means spiritual practice or spiritual discipline, and it has been used in yogic philosophy to describe the pursuit of spiritual goals through action rather than through intention alone. This methodology can be applied to business, allowing you to achieve your business goals while also finding personal meaning in your work and living life with intention.
At its core, Sadhana is about a way of living and being.
Merging Intention Setting & Goal Setting
Let’s begin by looking at intention-setting, as opposed to goal-setting. As someone who identified himself with the goals he achieved—a goal-setting junkie, if you will—it has been a journey for me to build a new relationship with how I view goals. In 2018, I published my first book by my thirtieth birthday. That was the goal, and I achieved it about a week before my birthday came! I was proud of myself, and it felt good for a short period of time, until the void I’ve been seeking to fulfill came back…
This is the cycle of chasing goals. You start with the thing you want to achieve, you make a plan to achieve it, you achieve it, you feel great, and then typically you’ll come back down from the “high” of achievement, which sets you back at the beginning of the cycle to start all over again.
This has been my experience in goal-setting, always chasing something outside of myself, never to fill the void, and caught in a vicious never-ending loop.
Just think about your relationship to checking your phone, social media, watching TV, checking emails. These are just a few examples of the forms addiction can take, things many in our Western culture don’t even realize we may be addicted to. My vice was some of these things and some outside of this sample list.
My most extensive addiction was to working.
I don’t mean to offend anyone when I say, “I’m a recovering workaholic.” I mean these words, and it is my intention to bring light to the way we choose to be in the world, because having the awareness and consciously choosing is how we begin a shift in consciousness.
Sadhana means redefining “Pursuit”
As I learned in my recent yoga teacher training in Costa Rica, the yogic philosophy of Sadhana teaches the importance of the pursuit of the goal rather than achieving the goal. I have observed, through reflection, that just by being in the process of searching for a new approach to goal-setting, I’m already there…
You see, my friends, the classic cliché, “it’s about the journey, not the destination,” isn’t just a cheesy, age-old saying. There is so much wisdom to this! For those of you who have ever identified being a “workaholic,” I’m speaking to you!
In yogic philosophy, the Sanskrit word, sadhana, is defined as “the practice; discipline in pursuit of a goal.” My yoga teachers, Dakota and Bridget Shea, invite us to reframe this entire way of being, in order to realize we are working toward the aim of our “ultimate potential,” and the diligence in working toward this potential is the way, itself.
Dakota Shae says, “By envisioning sadhana as tangible practices that reflect a balanced being, you can avoid the overwhelming, goal-oriented ideal and find yourself experiencing your ultimate potential in a realized yet evolutionary way. The idea that you must attain something in order to become the fullest version of yourself can create a negative relationship with life as is. Encounter your life in the present, and through intentional practices such as sadhana, you can live into your ultimate potential in each moment as it continually evolves.”
So, rather than overextending ourselves and rushing from one thing to the next to achieve more, we can alter our way of being to reflect our ultimate potential.
Furthermore, to define (or identify) what one’s ultimate potential is (or what the goal is) is to limit oneself.
Thus, we just leave ultimate potential as is, undefined. It is the inner knowing and North Star to guide our way of being (and acting) to aim toward our ultimate potential, all the while realizing that being in “pursuit” does not mean we have our sights set on reaching and crossing a finish line.
Now, I’m a practical being, and I like tactical steps. so I’ll share an exercise I learned from Dakota in my yoga teacher training that supports this philosophy.
Road Map for Pursuit of Ultimate Potential
Keep in mind that the Sanskrit word sadhana is defined as “the practice; discipline in pursuit of a goal.” This is the core belief behind this exercise. This worksheet is to help guide us to be present in the journey without chasing end results or goals. This isn’t meant to replace goal-setting. This is meant to help guide you through a new way of being and living.
The Foundations of Sadhana are Physical, Mental/Emotional, Spiritual, Relational
Scroll down a bit to see a worksheet you can use to access your Ultimate Potential and use the link here to download the PDF so you can print it out and use it yourself!
This exercise begins with looking at the top box, entitled Ultimate Potential. Keep in mind, we are not identifying what the ultimate potential is. As Dakota Shae teaches, to define one’s ultimate potential is to limit oneself.
Next, we have the categories of Physical, Mental and/or Emotional, Spiritual, and Relational.
For Our Aim, we choose something we are aiming for. Write down the thing you are aiming toward for each of the categories.
Finally, write in three actions or ways of being that will support you toward your aim.
Let this worksheet be a living, breathing place to come back to time and time again. This isn’t finite! Let it be fluid, and make it enjoyable!
In summary, we aren’t naming our ultimate potential; we see our ultimate potential as just that: the cyclical process of being in pursuit that is never-ending, just like the symbol of infinity. You’ll experience peaks and valleys; but keep your Aims in mind. How you can support said Aims can change at any time, to meet you where you’re at in the present moment.
Improving the mental well-being in your workplace culture is easier than it may seem. To learn more about how I can help in your quest of addressing the Mental Health Crisis, check out my website SamKabert.com.
To a More Fulfilling Life,
P.S. For more, check out this FREE guide with the 3 Undeniably Simple Tactics to Practice SOUL/Life Balance.