I am a spiritual seeker. I have always been a spiritual seeker. Whew! There, I said it!
This may sound strange, given my 28-year career as a data scientist. But in many ways, it is highly complementary to my analytic work. My intuition often guides my decision process. I’ll share more about using my intuition in another blog. First, I want to offer some historical perspective.
By the time I entered the corporate world, I already had a strong sense of the infinite nature of the universe. I knew the interconnectedness of everything. And I realized that our thoughts, combined with our emotions, are the most powerful force in the universe.
Right now, I’m sitting in the Shanghai airport awaiting my 14 hour flight home. I just spent an amazing week in Rishikesh, India where I attended an immersion for a spiritual business training called Federation 100. It is based on the incredible teachings of Mynoo Maryel and managed by Mynoo and her business partner, Gaurav Gupta – the founder of Ted Talks, India.
During the immersion in Rishikesh, I was reminded of my early days in Corporate America. After ten years as a mom, entrepreneur, and spiritual seeker, I longed for more intellectual stimulation and wanted to contribute to the family income. So I decided go back to school. My first choice was to study spiritual psychology. I with an undergraduate degree in math, I decided to take the practical route and ended up getting a Master’s degree in statistics. This was in 1991.
I landed my first corporate job as a data scientist. My primary focus was predictive modeling. Just to give you an idea of how long ago that was, my desktop computer (pre laptops) had a 500 MB hard drive. To build a regression model, I had to request a sample of the data just so it would fit on my hard drive. This was pre Windows. So when the model was processing, I didn’t have access to any part of my computer. To make the best use of my time, I spent the week selecting and fine-tuning the candidate variables. Then before leaving work on Friday afternoon, I would launch the modeling process and hope it would complete by Monday. The average run time was 27 hours! Today, I can run the same model in about 10 seconds. Think about that for a moment. It speaks volumes about the speed of change driven by technology. [Again, another blog.]
The corporate culture was very fear-based. I felt like I had to hide my spiritual life. I gravitated towards coworkers from India just to have the opportunity to talk about spirituality. It helped me navigate my stressful life. My week in Rishikesh was a reminder of how spirituality is not only needed in business. It’s actually good for profits!
In my recent book, LOVE@WORK (Quantum Love Press, 2018), I offer extensive research into how Love is good for profits. As you might imagine, Love has many other benefits as well. But there is good data to suggest that companies that create a culture of caring and connection, i.e. love, actually make higher profits. And Love is the foundation of my spiritual practice.