Chant these Mantras when starting any Work:
Shuklaambaradharam vishnum shashivarnam chaturbhujam
prasanna vadanam dhyaayet sarva vighnopa shaantaye
Sanskrit to English Word Meaning:
Shuklambara- white cloth; dharam- worn; vishnum- all pervading ; Shashivarnambright complexion(like a full moon); Chaturbhujam- 4 shoulders; Prasanna Vadanam- Pleasant face; Dhyayet- I meditate; Sarva- all; Vighna- obstacles; upashantaye- pacify or remove
For the removal of all the obstacles in my effort, I meditate upon Bhagwan Vishnu, who wears a white garment, who is all pervading, who has a bright complexion (like a full moon), who has four shoulders, who has an ever-smiling face.
Note that the above chanting is also used sometimes for Ganesha
Vakratunda mahaakaaya koti soorya samaprabha,
nirvighnam kurumedeva sarva kaaryeshu sarvadaa.
Hindi to English Word Meaning:
Vakratunda (currved trunk); mahaakaaya (huge form); koti soorya (a billion suns); samaprabha (equivalent illumination); nirvighnam (no obstacles); kurume (give me); deva (God); sarva kaaryeshu (all endeavors); srvadaa (always)
O lord with the curved trunk, with large body, with the effulgence of a billion suns, always remove the obstacles in all my undertakings.
Lord Ganesha is considered the deity for removal of all obstacles in our life. Hence it is customary to pray to Him first before starting any new activity whether it be pooja, new business or a new journey. Thinking about the Lord who has a pleasant face (prasanna vadanam) will help us overcome all the obstacles that might arise in our task.
Some times, shubha kaaaryeshu is substituted for sarva kaaryeshu.