From Eklavya to Ravan, reading about some characters, author Dr Kanchan Joshi says, can transform the way you think and help you solve problems.
Reading, in general, can help tremendously in your career.
It helps you develop domain expertise in a particular field, keeps you abreast of developments and improve soft skills and self-awareness.
But how can reading about mythology help with career development?
1. What is mythology?
You may have myths in your workplace. Investigate.
Over time, myths tend to amplify a particular quality of an individual or an event so that it is easy to remember in the collective consciousness.
For example, it is popularly believed that Edison invented the light bulb.
The truth is more complex. He improved upon existing designs and made it commercially successful.
So, if you are really interested in finding out the truth, investigate and experience.
You may be astonished with your find!
The first way reading mythology can help in your career is you always learn to find out the truth for yourself!
2. In a global workplace, have an identity, know where you come from
Reading about our mythology gives us an idea about our culture, values, philosophies and history.
In subtle, as well as obvious ways, you are a product of all this.
Know what you are and what you are not, by reading mythology.
3. Reinventing the wheel: Others have faced and overcome similar problems
Be it the big questions about life and the universe or mundane things -- such as how to handle a pain in the rear boss or a coworker -- believe you me, these questions have been faced and dealt with in the past.
Just read your mythology!
4. You'll develop a new passion
Reading mythology may trigger a hobby or a hidden passion. When you read about raw courage, sophisticated technologies, evolved philosophies and much more.
5. You'll see the big picture
Reading about past events, helps you to take a step back and gives you a big picture perspective. Now, that is essential for career growth!
6. You'll question what you have been taught
How can there be accurate astronomical data in books written thousands of years ago when man realised earth is round few hundred years ago?
Reading about mythology makes you question what you have been taught in school.
Questioning existing state of the art is always necessary for disruptive breakthroughs and progress.
Truth is beyond your imagination.
7. You'll realise that personal and work-life are continuous phase, not separate entities
Mythology describes people who are really good at something and had dedicated their entire lives to perfecting that aspect.
For example: Arjun was a great archer, but his aim came from a single-minded devotion.
Your work is impacted by who you are in personal life!
8. Reading is not enough, you got to do it
Reading about mythological heroes will make you realise reading/thinking is not enough, you have to take steps toward achieving your biggest goals.
If you realise it's not enough, you will turn inward and find the next big leap.
9. You'll be inspired to do more, dream big, challenge the status quo
Mythology is about people who defied odds and rose about their personal and societal limitations. For example, Eklavya, who became the best archer without a teacher.
10. You'll check trajectory
While reading mythology, you will attempt to link past situations and characters to the present.
Since the whole story unfolds in a few hundred pages, you will know what trajectory leads to what outcome. For example, you are powerful and brave but your inability to control your base instincts will lead to ruin.
Think Ravan as well as the present day #MeToo movement.
You can try to predict what trajectory you are on and decide if you want to continue or change course?
To sum it up, there are things larger than yourself.
Our historical heroes are the ones who thought about bigger goals than themselves.
If you attach yourself to something larger than your individual self -- be it helping others improve the way they live or smaller things such as improving how people experience your product or make products that save lives -- work and career will automatically fall into place!
Dr Kanchan Joshi is the author of the recently released book Tenth Avatar: A Quest for Answers.
*Lead image used for representational purposes only.