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21st Century Corporate Lessons by a 13th Century Persian Poet

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, a Persian poet and Sufi master born centuries ago in 1207 especially in the last few decades have struck a special chord across cultures. The most beautiful part of his proses are its effortless versatility. Like humble rice it fits magically in biryani, risotto, schezwan fried rice and Thai curry. His Sufi words meant to unite the world and be a balm for lovers across generations also rings true for CEO’s & entrepreneurs alike for relevant business advice.


Now here is one of the most erudite poets of all time, equally wealthy and prosperous. Why this is important is that it is easy to sprinkle inspirational lines when you are poor but when you are at the very top and ready to let it all go for what you truly believe in, that’s admirable. Listen to that person.

The moon stays bright when it doesn’t avoid the night.

If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?

All your anxiety is because of your desire for harmony. Seek disharmony, then you will gain peace.

In each moment the fire rages, it will burn away a hundred veils. And carry you a thousand steps toward your goal.


When he was just an affluent, young scholar hundreds of his students looked up to him like God himself when he spoke. Years later his followers will be ready to spread his message across the seven seas with nothing but his words. Centuries later billionaires will frame his quotes to inspire themselves. What kind of man do you have to be to demand that kind of timeless positive influence from people around you? Let that person tell you in his own words.

The quieter you become the more you are able to hear.

Very little grows on jagged rock. Be grounded. Be crumbled so wildflowers will come up where you are.

You acts of kindness are iridescent wings of divine love, which linger and continue to uplift others long after your sharing.

Raise your words not voice. It is rain that grows flowers not thunder.


Imagine a world where your soulmate gets killed by your own son and rather than destroying everything you start cultivating words that will soothe zillions of broken hearts. (Rumi had not written a single prose before Shams of Tabriz got killed, his passionate art was a result of his positive healing). A full moon for so many dark nights and lost souls.

Why do you stay in prison, when the door is so wide open?

Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.

Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.


Walking on a path full of thorns where only you can see the paradise at the end can be quite a struggle. To make people believe in your dreams and make them a part of it quite possibly is the highest human feat. Rumi wants you to know you aren’t alone and there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

Be patient, where you sit in the dark, the dawn is coming.

Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.

When someone beats a rug, the blows are not against the rug, but against the dust in it.

Achieve some perfection yourself, so that you may not fall into sorrow by seeing the perfection in others.


Can we agree Rumi is a brand now that Queen Beyoncé has named her daughter after her? Ever solidifying the relevance of the 13th century poet in our 21st century. And as much as branding might be the last thing the whirling dervish wanted for himself there is still so much one can soak in and implement in our business. Take a deep breath and read through his wisdom.

Moonlight floods the whole sky from horizon to horizon;

How much it can fill your room depends on its windows.

The art of knowing is knowing what to ignore.

Start a huge, foolish project, like Noah…it makes absolutely no difference what people think of you.

Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment. Cleverness is mere opinion. Bewilderment brings intuitive knowledge.


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