No Fear! No Guilt!
If I had to condense my initial few conversations with Sai and my learnings at Sandarbh (a rather unfair condensation to say the least) the three main things for me would be about choice, commitment and perhaps free will (for the lack of a better way to put it)
Choice to select the kind of work that we wished to do. Even within the structure of the organisation, there was enough flexibility and freedom for us to fill up our day with work that actually kept us engaged. Yes, for each one of us there were certain things we didn't necessarily want to do but had to do - however, it made up for only a small portion of the day. We all had the choice to plan our work day how we wanted it to be. The best part about this was that since we have such a diverse range of people, each of us with our own skills and interest, that there was no part of the job that got left out. We each complimented each other's strengths and weaknesses, some enjoying the work that was pure hell for others and vice versa.
Commitment to the job was a must. One of the first conversations that I had with Sai even before I joined the office, was regarding commitment. He put it rather simply - commit only to what you know you can do, and what you're willing to do. However, once a commitment was made it had to kept no matter what. I found myself in situations where I had over-committed on several occasions in the beginning (a bad habit that I had been dealing with for a while now). Whether I liked it or not I had to trudge through my commitments, luckily with support from the rest of the team. After the initial stumbles, I finally learnt to walk the fine line between committing to something with all your heart and over-committing.
Free will is perhaps the hardest to explain and has been the hardest to implement too. When I say Free will to work, I mean an environment where one works because they want to. The driving force in this case has to be internal. One of the strongest statements Sai made was this " Never work in Fear, Never work in Guilt" The principle sounds rather simple but is really much harder in practice. In introspection a lot of the things we do are a result of either fear or guilt. My time at Sandarbh has helped me rid myself of this. Yes both fear and guilt have a curious way of creeping up on you. But in the end its about how you deal with them - whether you let these emotions overpower free will or you learn to control them. I consider myself lucky to have understood this simple yet incredibly complex statement. I have realised that once you let go of these two negative emotions, you open up a lot of space in your life to be filled with the positive ones - joy, hope, inspiration, confidence, happiness and above all love!