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Finding the Zen in Hospitality

Quick hacks for a purpose driven path

Happiness that elusive thing, and yet, the most sought after!

And fuzzy as it may sound in the hard core world of hospitality going-ons , it also is the most looked up and referred topic. Because, hardnosed as we might get, as and when we are scaling our professional lives, we’re also conjoined by this very basic goal. One common quest.

In the hotel world, there are sometimes things that seemingly tick on autopilot. A drill we are doing on a daily basis. There are endless days where we show up at a particular time, check our grooming, go through the plans for the day and cruise along. Next day…..repeat . The day after….repeat.

These are days that seem as if they are playing on a loop.

How is it possible then…to cull out the precious grains of happiness, when everything is panning out in the very selfsame way as the day before?

Focus on the essentials

Unsubscribe from as many fluffs and fripperies as possible. This means not to getting way led by distractions. The higher we climb, the more our network expands. The more that happens, the more we need to deal with a barrage of communication from every possible corner. A hotel is a bustling bee-hive of activity….a little mindfulness on the top priorities helps. Dwelling too much on that sponsorship proposal or the guest ranting about a small banquet glitch can impact valuable time. Seamlessly moving on…is the trick.

Find your Happy

Recently there was an article trending on happiness by that stalwart of the hospitality, Bill Marriott where he talks about finding one’s own sweet spot. Whatever that might be. He says that he feels a certain contentment when he is among people…travelling the globe, touching base with all his associates. And, hard as it might be to put a finger on one true happy place, it would be spending time with his family by the lake in New Hampshire.

I once knew a very senior professional in the hospitality industry with a deep love for scuba diving. Every few months, he would take off for Palawan and find his true ‘happy’ in the midst of pristine blue waters. He always came back rejuvenated and having calibrated his thoughts….approaching tasks with a new vigor. Go on then, find your own sweet spot. And then, nurture it.

Your own quiet Zen corner?

It was 7. 45pm after a long work weekday and we were awaiting a guest for dinner. When I started to look out for my boss for a quick meeting before the guest arrived…where do I find him, but sitting in a quiet corner of a sparsely frequented restaurant …looking pensive !

Finding your own quiet corner, phasing out the white noise can be hard in an operational hotel, but possible. A restaurant when not in use, a quiet corner of one of the meeting rooms or the Spa when it is not very busy. Find one. Go there…to spend some quiet moments of reflection, especially when it all seems a bit overwhelming. Nothing like letting some silence nourish you back on track.

Empathy …. the true guiding star

Being a leader driven with empathy and understanding is the mark of a truly inspiring mentor. Being a good listener and every once in a while stopping to tune in to the real lives of associates around can be very self-gratifying as well. Pause and listen and empathize whenever you can. No second place for compassion…..we are in the connected human industry !

Mindfulness, Mindfulness, Mindfulness

Being fully present amplifies each and every passing act or event in our lives. The secret is to use our breath, be with it and not let our minds run away with us. Hard? Not really. As one saying goes, “Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.”

These are just a few hacks that may work at bringing an equilibrium. Pick whatever resonates with you, and glide along. The journey ought to be meaningful, filled with purpose, but also with a dash of fun.

Let me know if you have any more ‘zen hacks’ that work at [email protected]

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