5 Incredible Life-changing Lessons To Learn From Lord Krishna
It’s said that human beings get inspired by various things in their life one of them being various anecdotes or stories that they have grown up with. We pick up certain elements from these stories which shape the way we think, act and become. For me, one such story is that of Lord Krishna.
The quotes of Lord Krishna & their interpretation were not only relevant in that era but can be applied even today. These learnings can be incorporated into both personal and professional life.
Back in Time Trivia
Like many of us born in India in the 1970s, I have grown up hearing tales or “kathas” of various gods & demons from my grandmother. Every evening all the grandchildren would surround her and pester her for one more story from her endless treasure. Her stories had all the elements of a blockbuster. They included emotions, drama, and a heroic male or female character who kills the bad guy symbolising the victory of good over evil. Some of these tales have stayed with me over the years. While they may not have made me more religious, they certainly have shaped my thinking, values & beliefs.
I always found Lord Krishna and his tales very fascinating. This was because he was that naughty kid who could never be caught. One could relate to his teenage years and his irresistible charm which made him a favourite amongst all women irrespective of their age. However, his most important quality was his ability to read the human mind. He had immense foresight and provided the right direction to his disciples when their mind was at crossroads. Those who have read the Bhagavad Gita will vouch for his advice on managing emotions while fulfilling the task destined for you.
I have to be honest here that I have not read the Bhagavad Gita and whatever information I am using in this blog is limited to what I have read in various articles and TV serials.
For the uninitiated, the Ramayana & Mahabharata were one of the most popular Indian mythological television serials of our times. The entire nation had its eyes glued to their B&W or coloured TV sets to watch these epics. Since there was no option of a repeat telecast and no OTT channels, none of us wanted to miss any of the episodes. Incidentally, my grandmom made us record every episode of this serial and we watched them multiple times with her.
So here are some takeaways that were unknowingly etched in this little girl’s mind and heart as she watched those serials while giving company to her 70-year-old grandmom.
- 5 Incredible Life-changing Lessons To Learn From Lord Krishna
- Back in Time Trivia
- How These 5 Lessons From Lord Krishna Inspire Us To Lead a Better Life
- 1. Act with conviction
- 2. Master the mind, and you master the world.
- 3. Be a Leader and Provide the Right Motivation
- 4. Practice Meditation and Perseverance
- 5. Perform Your Duties Diligently
- To Summarise:
- 5 Precious Leadership Lessons To Learn From Lord Krishna
- More Management Posts
How These 5 Lessons From Lord Krishna Inspire Us To Lead a Better Life
1. Act with conviction
Lord Krishna said to Arjuna ‘Whatever is done without faith – whether it is sacrifice, charity, austerity, or any other act — is useless. It has no value here or hereafter.”
This is so true for anything in life, especially in the workspace. The first is to have belief in oneself and one’s ability. The second is to have belief in what you are doing.
In the corporate world, I have come across so many situations which made me question myself and the actions I have to take. One of them is leaving my prime job twice over. The first time was to focus on my new marriage one year into the new job. The second was taking a break after 20+ years of corporate life to migrate to a new country. While these may have pushed back my career by a couple of years but I prioritised what I felt was important and was ready to face the consequences. In both cases, there was no compulsion, and the decision was solely mine. My guiding light was the belief I had in my decision.
Incidentally, I came back to corporate life with a bang after both the breaks and have no regrets at all. In the first instance, it helped me settle into my new home and family while the second break made me a blogger and a painter. Both these opportunities gave a completely new dimension to my life and I feel these were the best decision I took at that point in time in my life. Read more about this in my blog.
2. Master the mind, and you master the world.
Lord Krishna said to Arjuna “One must elevate – and not degrade -oneself by one’s own mind. The mind alone is one’s friend as well as one’s enemy. The mind is the friend of those who has control over it, and the mind acts like an enemy for those who do not control it.”
Isn’t it true that all the battles are won in the mind first and then on the battlefield? Applying this to the corporate world again, your mind determines how your day will go. Your state of mind has influence over your body, your relationships at work or otherwise, and your emotional well-being.
Taking this belief further, circumstances are not good or bad but always neutral. It is how you approach the situation that will determine your outcome.
The same is the case with people. Our mind likes to put people in boxes based on the feedback and perceptions shared by others. This often proves as a hindrance in our communication & hence their co-operation. How many of us give them a fair chance to prove themselves?
In my corporate tenure, I have worked with people who were entirely written off by my predecessors. Their feedback was taken in stride, but it did not influence my judgement. I gave them a fair chance to prove themselves again & they went on to become top performers.
Still, with due respect to all concerned sometimes, it’s all about how you groom and interact with people & a situation. If you genuinely want to work with a person or on a project, listen to your heart & mind and not all the voices of all people around you. An open mindset is a key that makes a difference. But, that’s not all.
3. Be a Leader and Provide the Right Motivation
Lord Krishna said to Arjuna ‘’The wise should not unsettle the minds of the ignorant who are attached to the fruits of work but should inspire others by performing all works efficiently without selfish attachment.”
There is a direct relationship between an employee’s level of motivation and his level of productivity. Employees often work hard only when they have some motivating factor and they are guided in the right direction.
While I understand that for some people money and career growth is the biggest motivator, human touch, empathy and respect for an individual plays a key role in your team’s performance. When your team sees you walk the talk whether it’s managing projects yourself or standing up for the team, they will be willing to go that extra mile for you. For them, you are the motivation and not the money.
4. Practice Meditation and Perseverance
Lord Krishna said: ‘Undoubtedly, O Arjuna, the mind is restless and difficult to restrain, but it is subdued by any constant vigorous spiritual practice- such as meditation – with perseverance and by detachment, O Arjuna.”
This learning came pretty late to me and wish I had started this practice earlier. Meditation does not change a situation but it changes your reaction and outlook toward the situation.
When we are in the corporate world, we get stuck in what I call the work-and-spend cycle. This is a phenomenon in which people remain trapped in a pattern of long hours of work and increased consumption patterns that gives us a false feeling of well-being. However, it’s actually eroding our mental peace.
It’s very easy to get sucked into this whirlpool of meetings, deadlines, and egos where your promotions and pay packet seem to define your “Happy state”. And if expectations across any of these are not met, it causes a great deal of stress and a so-called “unhappy state”
I was always a very spiritual person and believed in a supreme power or energy that makes the world go around. My days ends with a prayer every night but I was not into meditation. I started doing meditation 1 year back and since then felt a sense of calmness inside me. When you make decisions or take action from a calm and balanced state of mind, you have better outcomes.
It also helps you put things and events in your life in perspective and thus helps you accept reality gracefully.
I wish I had incorporated meditation into my daily schedule earlier during my corporate life. It would have certainly helped me to be a better person and a more balanced decision-maker. Never mind, better late than never as I see the change in me now.
5. Perform Your Duties Diligently
Lord Krishna said to Arjuna, “Always perform your duty efficiently and without any selfish attachment to the results because by doing work without attachment one reaches the supreme goal of life.”
The interpretation of this learning in the corporate world is actually quite interesting. How can we not have an attachment to the end result especially when we have targets or goals to achieve? Our existence in the organisation depends on these.
Therefore this is how I interpret this teaching.
Life at work is not always fair. You may have toiled day and night & given your best to the job, but you may still not get that coveted promotion or an increment. Worst still, you will see less-deserving colleagues getting promoted. Too bad but that’s the reality.
So do you stop giving your 100% to the job you are assigned?
There have been situations in my 25 years of corporate life when I felt that I have not been given my due. However, the passion that I had for my work kept me going. Every time I got into this mind trap of “Karma Vs Reward”, Karma took precedence. Eventually, I got what I deserved but not necessarily in my prescribed time frame. But I had the satisfaction of giving my 100% every time.
I am sure most of you would have gone through some or the other management courses or training. These training courses do cover some or most of the above. You must have also realised how difficult it is to practice these diligently in corporate life. Talking about myself, Have I been successful in implementing all these teachings 100%? No, but I have the 5Rs that help me stay on course when I falter –
The most important step towards making a change is the realisation that I have a particular habit that needs to change. Once the realisation comes in, half the battle is won.
Be committed to making the change.
Take appropriate action in the right direction.
You should repeat the action every time you face a similar situation. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat till it becomes your new habit.
You will see a change in your attitude towards life and people, reinforcing this new habit.
Hope you find these learnings useful and that they find a place in your corporate to-dos. If yes, please do share with your family and friends so that they can also benefit from these learnings.
A big thanks to my sister Dr Minni Chadha for the artwork on the blog header.
5 Precious Leadership Lessons To Learn From Lord Krishna
More Management Posts