Life

The Journey Within

31 July 2013

As the original texts are written in Turkish, English translation is provided for non-Turkish readers. The author apologizes in advance for any and all possible changes and losses in meaning due to translation.

Often we are burned out by our daily routines in life and need a break with a real focus on ourselves. How can we do this in our modern times without being connected mentally and technologically to everyday life?

This is what I asked myself when I looked at the top managers at our traditional Monday managers’ breakfast meeting. I realized that we were talking about a successful year, yet we had little time to focus on ourselves. The managers had spent the little time they had after work with their families, but they mentioned here and there that they had almost no time for themselves—time within. I was determined to get my team to an outdoor event, but I did not want one of the classic outdoor management events focusing on our company targets, goals, achievements, and challenges, or even one on how to be a great team. I needed to get them out of the daily routine so they could think about where theyare as individuals, where they are going, and what they want in life. I talked to Yasemin Pirinççioğlu, an experienced event manager in Turkey, and we brainstormed about the concept of “a journey within.” This was a journey to the mountains of Antalya to an 800-year-old Kervan Saray (a simple and plain environment). Here we learned in three days how to not say anything and to listen to ourselves; we practiced listening to our bodies and our environments. We questioned what we eat and should eat, we listened to a Turkish Sufi and Indian Guru (who lives in Turkey), and we all listened to ourselves. This was an experiment that entailed some risks, since such events are not common in Turkey, but we ended up with a great outcome. The survey outcome was that the event was a 100% hit. I watched those who left this event; they were passionate individuals, seeking to fully grasp the clear and simple truths within themselves, pushing trivialities aside with the ability to establish connections between the high points of self-recognition. They took with them the idea that a good and understood self-spirit can fill generations with enthusiasm at home and at work. From time to time we all need a Journey Within!

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