I recently visited a place called Govardhan Eco Village. It is in Palghar district, two hours drive from the hustling-bustling Mumbai. I have never seen a place like that in my life. As the name suggest, it is a local village with the temples of Iskcon at its centre. Everyone - the bramhacharis (monks), visitors and people doing sewa (services) - were immersed in something deep. They were organising the Krishna Janmashtami fest (the festival of the birth of Sri Krishna - the Supreme God).
We were informed that they are expecting thousands of devotees flocking the temple for two days from the nearby villages. The obvious question popped in my head:
They were organising such a big event and yet there was not a single person yelling or frowning. Not even a sign of exhaustion on their faces. Everyone looked quite happy doing their jobs. What is this place? How are they able to do this?
Whenever people come together they have to communicate and the quality of that event depends on the quality of their connection. Now imagine if you were to host a wedding ceremony, what would be the state of your mind? Or an annual town hall? Or just a small rewards and recognition ceremony?
I’m in no way saying that everything went as planned. Yet, most importantly when things did not go as planned there were immediate forgiveness in action. The need for getting back was totally missing. And some small goof ups were just brushed off.
I have observed from my life experiences that whenever people come together for a common cause they tend to do better provided that they believe in that cause. The vision and mission are clearly stated and followed through. And most importantly the leaders are available as the foundational stone on which others can depend and rest. It may sound like a beautiful dream but I truly saw it unfolding in front of my own eyes.
My curiosity and my coach brains lead me into asking some basic questions. And within no time I was at the base of it.
I was told that one of the ardent principles followed there was that one can never criticise or demean another devotee (of Krishna). This was always followed in a non-compromising way. Now imagine going to a place where you are never judged or criticised but always prised for your efforts.
In the twelve principles of loving yourself the one that tops the list of Louise Hay the author of "You can heal your life" is – Stop all criticism. When we stop criticising ourselves it is highly unlikely that we criticize others too.
What could you as an individual, your family or your team can truly become if you never criticised yourself and others?
I had a chance to talk to Sulochana (name changed) a newly appointed CEO of a cosmetic products launched in the market. Behind the layers of her make-up her worry lines were clearly visible. “I waited for this opportunity all my life. And now I have a large team to manage but the employees are so unproductive.” Obviously her performance was depended on the performance of others. My question here is - Can other’s actions really be an indicator of your performance? Is it really valid? Yet companies promote it in the name of culture.
We live right in middle of the start up bubble and see bright individuals succumbing to this dark reality very often.
The only person who is a thinker in your mind is -You and the only doer in your body is also – You
Then why are these perverted targets are set? To keep us stuck in the loop of self-loathing cycle. Which can easily push one into the deep and dangerous well of addictions of all kinds. And when these unrealistic targets are not met a feedback system is beautifully rolled and stuffed down to make the matters worse.
Gaurang Das Prabhuji, the Director of Govardhan Eco Village, describes that there are four principle motivators of life:
Motivation by fear
Motivation by desire
Motivation by sense of duty
Motivation by love
So what kind of leader do you want to become and what motivates you? How do you see yourself motivating others? Unless you don’t know, accept and be compassionate to all parts of you. You can never extend that to another.
There is an old saying- a man is known by the company it keeps. Who are you associated with in your life? One who keep you stuck in the cycle of self-loathing and self- destruction or the ones that will simply lift you up even when you fall or fail? Choose wisely!
As for me I am still relishing the remaining prasadam (food offered to Krishna and the later distributed in his devotees) that I received at Govardhan eco village. It is by no doubt turning out to be the most spirit satisfying food ever. A total motivation in love.