Eight steps in action

This page presents a framework for inner development – Eight Steps in Action.

Developing our inner self such that we can take a more measured and humble approach in our work can sound like a very large task – where do we start?

There is no fixed way of doing this but, in dialogue with thousands of villagers and professionals from India and elsewhere, Manavodaya in India has developed this straightforward framework.

We can start with one – or more. We should remember that they are not intended to help us to damn ourselves. When, for example, we think of ‘fault control’, we should be kind to ourselves – ‘yes, I don’t like that thing I do but it’s not the end of the world. I think I’ll try and change it though’.

Eight steps in action

1. Self-reflection

Some time devoted to self-reflection everyday, gradually making it a way of life is the key to self evolution and meaningful transformation of one’s life.

2. Collective reflection

A process of collective brainstorming that enables the participants to share perspectives relating to their values, choices and methods of decision making. This leads to considerable changes in outlook, working and behaviour if properly facilitated.

3. Income sharing

True happiness comes from giving. This principle suggests keeping aside a fixed proportion of one’s income for a social cause annually.

4. Time sharing

This means dedicating a fixed proportion of one’s time for a social cause.  Sharing skills, knowledge, even plain experiences without expecting any thing in return is equivalent to sharing human consciousness.

5. Fault control

Everyone has faults and habits that one is not often happy with. One can identify and take steps to control such faults through self-reflection. Examples could vary from excessive alcohol or tobacco use to short temperament or laziness.

6. Speech control

Speaking with conscious control and reflection can be developed through practice and will reduce the problems and complexities caused by careless speech.

7. Domestic responsibilities

Sharing of domestic responsibilities including those associated with child rearing is an important component of life discipline and enrichment. This aspect tends to be neglected by many men due to established traditions.

8 Local purchase

Earmarking a certain proportion of total consumption to goods produced locally will help stimulate and strengthen small scale production wherever feasible.