In Hinduism, Krishna is known as the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He spent his childhood in Gokul and Vrindavan as the son of Nanda and Yashoda. Nanda was the head of a tribe of cowherds called Gopas, and the residents of Gokul and Vrindavan loved Krishna dearly. There are many legends
from Krishna's childhood that describe him as a charming kid who is always playing pranks and protecting the villagers from various difficulties. However, there is one simple story from his days in Vrindavan which shows us how nothing from his life can be ever termed as simple.
The daily regime of Krishna and his fellow cowherds was to go up the hill to graze their cattle. On one such afternoon, Krishna and his friends felt very hungry, even after eating the whole lunch packed by their mothers. So, Krishna asked his friends to go to a nearby temple where a few Brahmins (Priests) were performing a Yagya (a ritual of prayer) and demand some food from them. The cowherds did as Krishna told them to do but the Brahmins shooed them away, stating that they cannot give food to anyone before the completion of the Yagya. When the cowherds returned to Krishna and narrated how the Brahmins were not ready to give the food, Krishna told them to go back to the Brahmins and make the same request again.
Cowherds did so, only to get the same answer from the Brahmins, the second time too.
Being rejected twice, the cowherds were feeling very low. Seeing their dull faces, Krishna told them all to go and demand food from the wives of Brahmins this time. The cowherds were not much happy with this plan because they expected the same answer from the wives
too, yet, they agreed to go on the insistence of Krishna.
Upon hearing the request of the cowherds, the wives of Brahmins happily gave food to them and also instructed them to come back for more if the quantity doesn’t fall enough. Hence, Krishna and his friends were able to eat to their heart's content only because they did not depend on the initial plan of demanding food from the Brahmins.
This is an interesting story as it teaches us the importance of Plan B.
If our efforts are working towards one particular direction only to fail, then what we need to do is to change the direction of our efforts, not the goal itself.
As James Yorke, the Mathematics and Physics Professor to coin the mathematical term ‘chaos’, rightfully said,
‘The most successful people are those who are good at plan B.’
Krishna’s plan A was to get the food from the Brahmins. Brahmins told them to wait until the completion of the Yagya and Krishna could have accepted that. But he didn't, he made the plan B to get the food from their wives because his goal was to get the food, not to wait for the successful execution of the plan A.
Sticking to the Plan and sticking to the Goal are two different things. Mistaking one for another is the major reason of our insecurities which make us believe that giving up on the plan is the same as giving up on the goal.
We become so much focused on our plan A that we forget to prepare ourselves for its failure. In such situations, plan B can rescue us by presenting an alternative as it saves us from falling into ‘the helpless state’. Thus, even a plain incident from Krishna’s life can also teach us a life lesson.