Mistaking hard work for progression- the mode of work according to your body type

Hard work. When you start a business or you establish or re-establish yourself, this becomes the modus operandi of how one should get things done. It's considered admirable and character building in our society. For women, it feels like we need to do double to get things done, or to be seen. The nature of work is topical lately with the issue of inequality of pay amongst genders.

Ayurveda has another view in relation to your effort. It considers that some should work harder than others, in the real sense of the work of physical and mental stimulation.  We should know how we work best and be conscious of the signs telling us when we've gone too far. Not enough of us outsource, partly due to financial constraints but mostly due to a feeling that we should know everything, or want to control everything. 

The business world considers that having the right team can make/break you. Here are some ideas to think about in this sense - from an Ayurvedic point of view, skill set shouldn't be the only thing you would consider, but also how your employees naturally work.

Pitta or the fire type of personality craves stimulation.

They will chew on raw food to satiate their appetite, in fact I can guarantee that the personality that wrote raw food diets are predominantly Pitta. They have a natural fire in their system and if they are not breaking a problem down, they will start fires around them in the form of personal arguments, tearing down walls in homes (to rebuild them), looking for minor issues at work to make major. If you don't give this personality something to do, they will create it. Their minds are bright and their intense gaze will confirm the brightness. They will work the hardest of the 3 types. In the right amount of work, they come alive, feeling a rush from small wins. The sense of accomplishment of a job well done can be more rewarding than an actual salary. The fire type likes the purpose of work.

If they overdo it - it leads to literal burn out. Their minds and digestive system can start to literally burn their insides. In Ayurveda, this burning can lead to a reduction of the water element. Water lubricates joints and tissues against the dryness of movement and the friction of heat. When there is a lack of water, the tissue becomes compromised and the body can become susceptible to infection.

It's at this point, the witty, discerning, brilliant, sees-all-sides Pitta becomes irrational, intense, argumentative and needs to have it their way. Once a Pitta personality needs to own the project more than want to see a job well done, then they are on the other side of well-being. You can work too much and create too much pungency in the process. This can explain the idea of "burning your bridges".

To cultivate the wisdom in knowing how to get the best of the Pitta personality is to periodically inject playfulness into the week. Light-hearted, non competitive activities , watching comedies (really!), dancing, playing music, art galleries. Since Pitta folk have a clarity about their eyes, they can use the sense of vision to heal. They enjoy beautiful things so people, and places that are visually calming are a good idea.

Vata or the air/space type of personality craves new-ness.

You know it's time to take a rest when Vata personality can't finish what they started. The idea of new-ness feels like a high and taps into the creative space zone of feeling like they expanded their minds. At this point, their ideas seem so UNBELIEVABLY good they want to tell everyone. In their minds eye they can totally see it happening. It can sometimes be difficult to tell the other types because when there is too much air, the words might fumble and it's difficult to get to the point. And soon enough, the real work of putting it together does not seem as exciting as birthing the idea in the first place, so they lose interest. And luckily enough, they have ANOTHER brilliant idea to replace the previous one. And so it goes.

The other side of the "high" that manifests from constant new-ness is that eventually this type of personality will crash from exhaustion. Their body types will tend towards the frail end of things. They do have really great ideas, insights and imagination but they do better being supported. Their mode of work should be moderate and steady, allowing the space for creativity within a structure. 

Nervous breakdown can be the result of riding the high. The excessive movement (or air) in the body can dry the tissues out. The nervous system needs a healthy amount of fat to "support" it and if that gets dried out a person may experience physical twitches, cramps, excessive blinking, hiccups, restless leg syndrome, insomnia, and anxiety and overwhelm. They will find it difficult to focus on topics, on your conversation, on what's next. 

This kind of creativity needs support. They need standard operating procedures and regular check ins. I've worked with numerous creative clients that stated they were healthier when they worked for someone else because it was an established routine. This personality does well with a little mundane in the routine to counterbalance the high of creativity. A stable relationship is important as well as home life. If they have a backdrop of strong and sturdy, their work life can fly.

Kapha or the earth/water type of personality craves the couch

A-ha! This lady needs the hard work we are so fond of in the busy-ness world. Physical/mental stimulation - all of it! All that denseness in her body means she can naturally relax, which is wonderful but the relaxation can tend towards unmotivation and stubbornness. If given the type of job that is monotonous, sedentary and mind numbing she will gladly do it out of a sense of internal loyalty but it will continue to add to her feeling of stuck-ness. This personality cannot self motivate or inspire and will turn to stone if left alone.

Stagnation starts to form in the body such as weight or stiff joints. Metabolism might slow right down and toxins will get lodged rather than burnt off. Heaviness after eating, lack of appetite, needing the feeling of sentimentality and hoarding are common as well as a tendency towards depression - the heavy duty kind that literally feels like dead weight. In a work environment this can translate as being difficult to motivate or change. "Set in your ways" is a term used.

This is who you give hard work to. They will shine from it. This body type has the reserves and energy to burn and they should. Some managers want things done quickly so they give it to the employees that burn energy as an addiction, however this is not a sustainable option. It is better to take the time to invest in the slower going type because they will have the energy AND they are the most loyal. Encourage movement before work such as a light jog, if appropriate. Mornings are the hardest but if you get them active early in the day - literally rushing around for you, they will perform better for the rest of the day.