This article was published earlier on Sustainable Brands.
In the midst of talks on “marketing”, “driving business forward” and “creating competitive advantages”, Sirikul (the Brandbeing Consultant & TSDF) started her talk with a simple request: “Smile.”
Amazing isn’t it? Such a simple word triggers a simple act, which then reminded everyone in the room to breath and reconnect with their inner mind. And your mind is where Sirikul wants to make transformation happen as she introduced the “sufficient economy philosophy” from her King in Thailand.
What’s sufficient economy philosophy?
It is “a philosophy that stresses the middle path as an overriding principle for appropriate conduct by all people in their lives.” The philosophy was elaborated by His Majesty King Bhumibol over the past 40 years as Thailand’s 21st century path.
The beloved King stated these five key points in his speech:
- The importance of establishing sensible and non-excessive material goals.
While he recognizes that material is important to people, he urges us to not to overdo it.
- The importance of avoiding unnecessary risk in the pursuit of material aspirations.
In other words, don’t compromise your children’s future (resources, money & opportunities) for buying things now.
- The desirability of attaining self-reliance.
Not the same as Gandhi’s “self-sufficiency”, the king sees that it is not enough to rely on oneself but that trading with others is necessary.
4.Doing all this while still maintaining concern for the protection of others.
If you are only think of doing this for yourself, you are being selfish again. You should always think about other people and try to help them achieve the sufficiency goal.
- Not losing attention to the non-material aspect of life.
We need to go beyond material. Self realization can be achieved from helping other people.
This is a essentially a Buddhist philosophy about moderation, to bring balance to a brand, a lifestyle, real needs and available resources:
“Our problems mainly come from two groups of people: those who say ‘Not enough’ and those who say ‘Never enough.'” — Sirikul Laukaikul
Such is the greed that powers us to chase after the never ending “more”: more sales, more stuff, more money… As Sirikul told us, such unchecked greed often triggers a series of bad karma.
And only when we understand and utilize the wisdom of moderation, pause and ask ourselves: “when is it truly enough” will we be able to turn the bad karma around to become good karma.
As all noteworthy philosophies, SEP has a whole system that consists of a comprehensive set of ideas that works together in three main aspects:
- Moderation-self actualization.
- Reasonableness-self rationalization.
- Prudence- self immunity.
Powered by Knowledge and virtue, either is neglectable.
Only then can we reach the balanced:
- Contentment on a personal level.
- Inclusive sharing economy at the community level.
- Sustainable development at the national and global level.
We were able to dive deeper into the ideas during lunch presentation where some audience members shared some personal and business struggles of reaching the balance. It is not easy to “not to be the tiger” in such a competitive economy, but the past financial crisis should have given people more reflection space upon the current fast paced system, to re-examine where exactly we are going.
It certainly takes courage at the personal and company level to say “enough”. But the reward is more personal freedom and an “admired brand”
Sirikul is very clear in her mission:
“What’s your goal?
If you want to be rich, i cannot help you.
If you want to be happy, I can help you to build something meaning.”
— Sirikul Laukaikul