This year’s theme Innovation for improving Safety is very apt. It is said that - “There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world… and that is an innovative idea, whose time has come”. In thinking about anything creatively, we must learn to get out of our well worn grooves. As someone has rightly said if we do what we’ve always done, we will get what we’ve always got. Therefore if we want to get something different we’ve got to do something different and in order to do something different we’ve got to think in a different way.

Success of an organization largely depends upon effective utilization of its resources leading to qualitative and quantitative production of goods and services. It is always found that an organization with higher productivity and quality has better safety records. In other words productivity, quality and safety go hand in hand.

Every enterprise has to relay on human skill and ability for efficient operation or activities. It is the human knowledge and skill which can bring success in any kind of activity. Safety management should therefore aim at improvement of activities or performance standard of people at work.

“A Chain is no stronger than its weakest link.” It is very much true with the subject of safety. In the modern world with all the latest technology available and sophisticated controls, with all the fail-safe devices provided, the safety chain always includes people which are the weakest link.

As accidents don’t just happen, they are the result of some unsafe acts or some unsafe conditions, which in turn can often be traced back to faults of persons. Statistics show that more than 85% of the industrial accidents are caused by people and a very few by power driven machinery. Therefore to make this chain stronger the safety consciousness among people has to be cultivated and to make it a stronger link in the safety chain, there has to be an innovative culture in the organization. The culture is the summation of attitudes of personnel at all levels in the organization. We should always remember that for innovation in improving safety – “Seeing beyond the obvious is a skill which can take us miles together on the path to progress and achievement in life.”

As essential element of any safety culture, a proper training has to be developed with intentional planning and devoted efforts. Human being is in the centre of all activities. In safety management also, various challenges are to be met by man.

Thus it is essential that he is to be internally empowered to face all the adverse situations encountered at various stages in life.
In order to empower people there are three innovative methods for improving safety - they are

1) Developing the sixth sense – Intuition
2) Spiritual wisdom and Spiritual values to enhance our Spiritual Quotient to maintain a balance in our attitudes and behaviour.
3) Relaxation techniques to free oneself from constant pressures experienced.

DEVELOPING THE SIXTH SENSE - INTUITION
Intuition is also know as mysterious flashes of insight hunches, gut feelings, animal instinct, or the sixth sense. There is a great awareness that is being created in the Corporate world to do management by intuition. Most of us sometimes have had remarkably accurate intuitions that seem to spring from nowhere.

Even when not in emergency mode our internal radar is on alert for patterns of threat. These hidden powers of perception are what allow people to see the invisible.

Many a times we come to know after the hazards that some people had the mysterious flashes of insight hunches, but they were not able to identify the signals or it was too late to do something when they understood.

Our bodies are powerful transmitters and receivers. We transmit through our voice and inflection, choices of words, facial expressions, actions and body language. Likewise, our physical senses hearing, sight, taste, smell, and touch are powerful receptors, able to retrieve immense amounts of information every second. They send signals through the nervous system to the brain, which then processes and responds to that information with messages and impulses.

The adaptive unconscious is a mechanism in the brain that processes an ocean of sensory information, sorting it, interfering causes, judging people and influencing feelings and behaviour all without our conscious mind being aware.

Though we may often be unaware of the source of the signal, we still may pick up on the finer vibrations of thought and emotion, just as we do the physical sensations. We transmit and receive this information in a similar pattern, even though the energies are difficult to measure.

Intuition is actually a two step linking and checking process. First we rapidly sort memories, looking for a familiar pattern to guide us. As we follow the plan that worked in an earlier, similar situation, our unconscious mind is vigilant for anything odd or unexpected. Secondly, We’re constantly reading ourselves, checking for emotional or physical reactions, such as an uneasy feeling or increase in heart-rate that say, - watch out you may be getting into trouble.

One way to understand how this process works is to imagine a playground full of excited children, with a parent sitting on a sideline. That parent is so well attuned, so familiar with his or her own child’s voice, that he or she can, at any given moment, instantly pick out that voice from all the others on the playground. So it is with intuition. As we become more spiritually attuned, we can better pinpoint the “sound” of our higher self, or of God, and learn to recognize it.

The regular practice of meditation allows us to tune in to our higher senses and clear our sensory systems of the static of other influences. We become cognizant of the impulses that arise from within with which we truly resonate. Everything we do to become more spiritually attuned improves our ability to understand, interpret, and follow through on the guidance we receive.

We become aware of influences and information through intuition, when we lay the groundwork for a spiritual connection to one another and to the source of energy, we sharpen these higher senses of receptivity. Intuition is our greatest link to our higher selves and to the spiritual source.

SPIRITUAL WISDOM AND SPIRITUAL VALUES TO ENHANCE OUR SPIRITUAL QUOTIENT TO MAINTAIN A BALANCE IN OUR ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIOUR.


In the present day society all efforts are more or less directed towards the economic growth which in turn results in prosperity and in developing the means for comforts and entertainment. This has given rise to materialism and consumerism at the cost of moral human and spiritual values. It has also enhanced the human desires, whose mind now always remains busy how to acquire various means of comforts which diverts his attention from work.

The theory of unsafe acts has been supported by a generally negative view of workers like recklessness, stubbornness, impatience, lack of responsibility, lack of concentration and other undesirable traits of character that may have been passed along through inheritance or acquired. Environment may also develop undesirable traits of characters. Both inheritance and environment cause faults of person. Unsafe performance of persons with such attitudes have become so prevalent. Most of history’s worst tales are about smart individuals who ended up harming others.

Values are the missing link in modern management system and in safety systems too. Values grow in spirituality and are nourished and strengthened by wisdom. The missing dimension is the spiritual dimension which is intimately connected with the being.

Spiritual Quotient has become the late buzzword in the corporate cycle. It cannot be ignored that corporate values are made up of individual values and it is reiterated in this content that spiritual intelligence is the foundation stone for inculcation of these values. It is being touted as the best formula for success in business, in one’s profession and in life. But it has roots in a part of our lives that has never been considered of relevance to these fields.

This has prompted psychologists to look for something other than IQ to account for success and happiness. And they soon came up with Emotional Intelligence or EQ, a term used to describe the ability to understand one’s emotions and the emotions of others and to act appropriately on the basis of this understanding. EQ is the ability to respond skillfully.

But, over the past decade, as the pressures of modern life grew, it has been realized that even EQ was inadequate to deal with the situations individuals were facing in their professional and personal lives. This is because while EQ enables one to adjust one’s feelings according to the situation, it does not have the power to transform negative feelings into positive ones. That requires SQ, the spiritual Quotient.

SQ, its proponents say, is the ultimate intelligence, the one that enables us to give value and meaning to our lives. It allows us to look beyond material success to our larger purpose in this world. It is the foundation of both Intelligence Quotient and Emotional Quotient.

The ‘discovery’ of SQ in the HRD field is a belated acknowledgement of a truth that our sages have known long ago: that all the life’s problems are essentially spiritual problems, and require a spiritual remedy. When one learns to recognize the spiritual roots of a problem, one can find more holistic and rewarding solutions to them using spiritual Intelligence.

The validity of SQ demonstrates another truth that lasting success and happiness cannot be achieved at the expense of morality. This is because spiritual values are the original values of the self, and each deed that lessens these qualities leaves the self much more hallow. All human actions have a moral dimension. So work and values have to go together. Thus self management or moral and spiritual development is essentially to be co-related with skills. For enhancing effectiveness it is therefore, natural that our attention should turn to spiritual Wisdom. For management and safety to be value based it is to be understood that moral and human values have their roots in spirituality. In fact, values are the core of spirituality.

RELAXATION TECHNIQUES TO FREE ONE=SELF FROM CONSTANT PRESSURES EXPERIENCED

The 21st Century is considered to be the age of stress, anxiety and panic. Where everyone experiences stress, as the pressures of are too much and the inner resilience power to cope up with the pressures is less. The challenges are great and the inner strength is less. The pressures are from all sides. One pressure is carried from the past of some unresolved situation and the memories are so deep. We keep holding on to it and are not able to erase them, whenever we recollect them they pressurize the mind. Another pressure is experienced of the unknown future, as we are living in an age of Uncertainty and whenever we think about the unknown future there is a fear experienced. This fear of the unknown also creates a pressure on the mind. And there are two pressures experienced in the present. One is an internal pressure created from our own negative thinking and another is an external pressure created by external factors which are beyond our control, but they are connected with our lives and constantly influence us.

Hence there is a physical and psychological reaction to a state of helplessness which often results from a highly pressured, no exit situation. It is not just the external pressures of life that put us at risk but also the way we react to them. Stress has an enormous influence on one’s psychological apparatus and cognitive behaviour. A person becomes confused, irritable and restless. His power to judge and decide is seriously hampered under stress. It is our attitude and reactions to situations, the way we use our thought energy, either in worrying or creating solutions, that determines our response to stress. Persistent negative or self destructive thoughts become a major source of stress in themselves.

But there is a popular misconception that some amount of stress is essential to life. Due to this belief efforts to minimize stress are not made. As a matter of fact, even if one learns and practices the techniques of stress management, some amount of stress is bound to be still there. Actually stress is an abnormal state and it is a folly to consider it as an efficiency promoter. For instance, ‘to walk’ is normal and ‘to run’ constantly is abnormal for a human being. The normal state can be sustained for long and the abnormal state will soon lead to exhaustion and depression. One shouldn’t get deceived by its small initial dosage which appears harmless and seems to work (in the short run). One needs to appreciate clearly that the beginning of negativity, marks the end of positivity.

When we are feeling stressed we tend to point the finger at outer circumstances and other people as the causes of our stress, but they are only triggers.

The mental signs and symptoms of stress are always prior to the physical symptoms. They are forms of mental or emotional pain and include anger, tension, anxiety, frustration etc. Pain is simply a messenger which comes to tell you there is something you need to change.
When experienced daily, the mental symptoms of dis-ease in the mind, soon manifest through the body in the form of physical disease. This is the psychosomatic factor. This does not require scientific evidence as proof but the simple exercise of creating a thought of something fearful stimulates the heart rate to increase and adrenaline to flow.

Just as when the physical resistance power of the body is less, a change in weather affects our health, the external viruses attack our sympathetic system and we get prone to viral fevers or diseases. Similarly, stress is experienced when the mental resistance power of the self is less, and so a change in situation, circumstances and events creates a physical or an emotional reaction.

In order to keep the body in a healthy state there are three things essential.

(1) Healthy Nourishment.
(2) Physical rest and
(3) Regular exercises. Similarly if we want to keep the spiritual self in a healthy state, the mind also requires these three things

(1) Healthy Nourishment – Spirituality is the only source of healthy nourishment for the mind. Spiritual knowledge is a powerful catalyst which transforms negative attitudes into positive ones. Spirituality builds such attitudes that the same work becomes a pleasure instead of a pressure. Even though a person pays full attention to his work but he is free from tension.

(2) Mental relaxation – Meditation enables one to consciously relax the mind. Systematic practice of relaxation strengthens one’s mental powers to face stressful circumstances. As the external environment becomes more unpredictable, our inner powers of self-awareness becomes more important.

(3) Positive thinking exercise – Thoughts directly influence one’s behaviour. Hence every morning think along these lines: Today is going to be a great day. I am going to work with zeal and enthusiasm throughout the day. I have much more inner power than I believe. Today I am going to handle all situations with positive outlook and happiness.

The thoughts, speech, actions and spirit should be in harmony with each other. One of the methods to achieve it is through regular spiritual nourishment and meditation practise which helps in changing the attitude towards life and work. Internal harmony is manifested in the form of external harmony between different body organs and in between various human beings. This improves the biorhythm of the person also leading to safe acts. Therefore it is said that Productivity and efficiency is got when the body and mind are in perfect co-ordination.

Natural, sustainable, pleasant and positive stimulus for work and efficiency can never come from stress or pressure, it springs from appreciation, praise, understanding, caring, cooperation, love and respect. All these positive stimulants demand total absence of stress and pressures. Just as there cannot be light where there is darkness, in the same way, there cannot be positive stimuli where there is stress and tension.

The mental and physical capacity of a person is a major factor to determine his attitude towards work and his ability to deal with stress. One has to condition the mind so as not to buckle under pressure.

An easy test is to check if you are retaining your natural ability to smile and to sleep normally.

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 Bio-Data
The author Brahma kumari Ushadidi is a Raja Yoga Meditation teacher and a Management Trainer of the Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya based at the global headquarters in Mount Abu, Rajasthan, India.

With her innate qualities, capabilities and Supreme Father’s blessings she has focussed her strength and speciality into a meaningful channel. If fact, she is a practical example of “Applied Spirituality”.

In 1980 she dedicated herself totally to the Spiritual Service of mankind. Between 1980 and 1992, she was attached to Bombay and Hyderabad centers. In 1985 - the United Nations International Year of the Youth, she participated in the “Bharat Unity Youth March” extended from Bombay to Delhi and foot marched through a multitude of villages, towns and cities spreading the wisdom of spirituality.

In the path of service she has played a key role in the implementation of Self Management Training Programmes as Expounded by Brahma Kumari Self Management Systems. She has been invited by many industrial groups of India to impart systematic Self Managing Leadership courses for high ranking executives and management staff, thus blending Spiritual dimension with Modern Management philosophy. She has made thousands of presentations in various Colleges, Universities, Medical Associations, Social Organisations Management Associations and Corporate Sectors.

B.K. Usha’s eloquence and her simple and clear approach to spiritual attainments has led her to record lectures and commentaries on Raja Yoga for audio-visual presentations. She has participated in a number of Conferences and Seminars at National and International levels.

Her lectures are shown on various tv channels. She has also published her book on Self Managing Leadership in English and Hindi.