3 ways to improve dedication in life

It was decided that all the five Pandavas will marry Draupadi. Then after that Kunti took Draupadi inside and taught her how to cook for the five brothers. Draupadi forgetting all her royal upbringing and comforts adopted to her new role and her new situation of poverty happily. She was happy that she was married to Arjuna and the other Pandavas. She earnestly learnt everything with great attention. She prepared the meals and served the first half to Bhima and the remaining half to others. Then the five brothers rested on deerskin facing south. Kunti laid across the line of their heads. Draupadi laid at their feet. Draupadi lived a life of sacrifice and dedication as wife of the virtuous Pandavas. She faced great challenges uncommon for a typical housewife – distraction, discomfort, distress and dishonor. She remained chaste and committed to her role – assisting her virtuous and glorious husbands in different ways in all circumstances. Finally she became the queen of Hastinapur and at last attained spiritual perfection.

We play many roles in life – an employee, a parent and a spouse. Dedication is the key to success in any of these roles. Take any successful entrepreneur, leader and celebrity, they dedicated everything possible – time, resources, effort and energy for fulfilling their role and they made it to the big stage. Dedication also bestows us satisfaction apart from success. We also want to be successful in our life, be it – career or relationship. We desire, we decide, we do but we often give up, put it aside. According to a survey, 1.2 million students dropout of school every year i.e. a student every 26 seconds or 7000 a day. Our dedication is weak. As a result, we may be seen as irresponsible or untrustworthy. There is no need to worry. We can improve our dedication for the cause we commit to or responsible for. Our purpose may not be same as Draupadi but we can definitely learn different principles of dedication from her example.

  1. Take regular doses of inspiration

We need to remind ourselves of the roles that really matters to us. The importance of the role in the big picture and the importance of the role to us. Draupadi could see how her husbands are so dedicated to virtue and righteousness and how the world is badly in need of such leaders of character and competence. That inspired her to dedicate herself to their cause. She is also aware that being wife of such illustrious husbands will improve her own existence and uplift her spiritually. There are many things around us that can potentially disorient us from things that really matter. Inspiration re-orients our life – our thoughts, words and actions (BG 2.44). We end up purchasing something which we really don’t need because we are inspired and convinced by a salesman or an advertisement. There are many out there who inspire us for things that really don’t matter to us. It is on us to seek inspiration for things that are important to us. We can get inspiration through education and association. A parent can read books or attend courses about parenting. He can also associate with successful parents to renew his dedication to his children as a parent. This has to be done on regular basis.


  1. Cultivate the necessary values

Every role has some values associated with it. Because those values are valuable for the role, we need to value them. In order to be a successful customer representative, one needs to be proactive and prompt in communication. An aspiring candidate for such career needs to consciously connect proactivity to his job and cultivate it diligently. The values may not appear directly related to the purpose or role but they nonetheless support the role. Draupadi diligently arranged her life around her husbands’ priorities. She used to wake up before her husbands get up and go to bed after them. She consciously valued their time and their needs over hers. These values help us become more committed to the purpose.  This also helps us to connect to the role and become more conscious of it than ourselves. These values need to be cultivated consciously keeping in mind the connection with our purpose or role. The more we can connect those values with the purpose and realize their importance, the more it becomes easier to cultivate those values. They also become effective in our journey towards achieving the purpose.


  1. Pay the price of sacrifice

In life, if we have to get something, we have to give up something. Life is unfortunately harsh. We have limited time, energy and resources, we need to focus on what we want to live for and live by. A student needs to decide between pubjee and studies before his exam. It may not be the case that we need to do away with things and hobbies we are interested in. They can be oriented towards the role we want to focus upon directly or indirectly. One need not totally do away with something, one needs to regulate or restrict those interests so that they do not distract or disturb us in our roles and responsibilities.  A student can play after he does justice to his studies. To the extent we can connect to our roles, to that extent we can easily and appropriately regulate and restrict those distractions. This way, we can give our best to what we consider as best in our life (BG 18.33).