“Happiness will be the main measure of one’s success”
Note: Introductory word, questions and answers are taken from Dušan’s interview for magazines Sensa and Original. Compiled and edited by Jasmina Stojanović.
If you want to read this article in Serbian, click here.
He had turbulent experiences and very difficult moments in his life while building something that has become a not just a brand, but a Lovemark and a global phenomenon. Since 2000 and the extremely creative energy that was directed towards socio-social (r)evolution, EXIT has become a festival with the participation of the world’s biggest music stars. During its existence, it has been visited by around 4 million people from across the world, it has won multiple best European Major Festival Awards, written about by the all the major international media – CNN, BBC, New York Times Guardian, Times and many others, declaring it as one of the best festivals in the world.
Through all his ups and downs, Dušan Kovačević has built something much stronger and more valuable – an authentic personality. His uniqueness is made up of simultaneously manifested personal dimensions – he is both a creative designer and a spiritual seeker – and this connection is adorned with an inseparable symbiosis of all the missions of his soul in this existence. With his self-development, he profiled himself as a revolutionary and visionary of the modern age and exclusively talks about his search through the evolution of consciousness. That is why today we will not talk about the festival, but about Dušan behind the festival, who understood something deep and lasting – that working on oneself is the most important life activity.
Remember the earliest moments when you discovered yourself as a spiritual being, then the various spiritual techniques and directions you travelled to get to what YOU ARE, now. During your development, what caused the biggest leap in the transformation of your consciousness and touched your inner being?
I have been meditating since I was twelve, and then my teachers pointed out to me that if meditation attracted me at such an early age, it could very likely mean that I will achieve self-realization during this life, but of course it depends on me and the path I choose.
I had my first serious spiritual inspiration, which I remember, a little over two decades ago after watching Stephen Hawking’s scientific documentary on the origin of the universe and the structure of matter, where the central theme was the string theory. Then I sat down and wrote a hypothesis that the entire known universe is a programme code in some divine natural supercomputer. The text never went beyond my computer. Then, in 1999, the film The Matrix was released (the first part), which is essentially a film about enlightenment and in which the protagonists live a life they think is real, when in fact they are inside a computer code all the time. In this artistic way, the Wachowski tandem allegorically presented one of the basic theses of Hindu philosophy, according to which the whole known physical world is an illusion (so-called Maya) and that a person can reach true knowledge of reality only through Awakenings and looking beyond the Matrix, comprehending what is behind the illusion.
The fact that I wrote about the essence of that film a year before its premiere gave me a great energy boost.
A similar thing happened with the book “The Celestine Prophecy”, which I read between the two millennia. I was telling my friends about my insights into the structure of life and the Universe, so few of them recommended me that book. I finally got it and was again fascinated by the “coincidence” to find in the book a good part of my thoughts and insights that I have gained on my own in the previous couple of years. That knowledge gave me a huge influx of energy from which came the strength I needed to start the story of the EXIT festival … Now I know for sure that none of that was accidental and that this energy boost was God’s providence with a clear goal.
After that, my personal development runs in parallel with diving in the boundless depths of ancient spiritual traditions, primarily Eastern philosophy and Christianity and the discovery of contemporary spiritual authors such as Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Deyer, Deepak Chopra, Joe Dispenza, Michael Newton and others who had a profound impact on my personal growth. In 2017 Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi came to me. It was one of the most important books that inspired spiritual side of Hippy (and later New Age) movement and it’s also known among wider audience as a favourite book of Steve Jobs (he read it once every year). The book motivated me to start practicing Kriya Yoga and ever since my spiritual, business and overall life growth has been accelerating towards the light speed.
A life of every very successful individual is characterized by the discovery and definition of certain personal insights and principles that have become his recipes, tools for success in every sense. Can you reveal to us your most important experiential insight which shaped one of your life’s principles?
At the beginning of 2015, during a very difficult business and life period, which was accompanied by huge material losses and problems, I came across Wayne Deyer’s film “The Shift”. Part of the film is about a quantum moment, a point in time that irreversibly changes lives for the better. It was exactly then when I made the most important decision of my life. I decided that this was my quantum moment after which nothing will be the same and so, from that moment on, my life, spiritual and business growth would be without suffering and sacrifice. I also decided that this decision should be so firm that no external circumstance could change it. That’s how I realized the POWER OF DECISION and it became one of my key life principles. Of course, there were still occasional minor and major blows to life, but they couldn’t break me anymore. I began to realise that I will achieve all external business and life challenges and goals by first resolving them energetically within myself, in a way that I will remove the obstacles within my being that are separating me from achieving the goal.
What belief helped you on that path of self-realization?
People in general, and especially in this area, have been brought up with the belief that success and prosperity can only be achieved through enormous sacrifices and efforts. I had been living with that for most of my life and achieved those successes through extraordinary sacrifices and extreme efforts. Consequently, life had knocked me out very painfully many times in order to correct my life path and clear delusions and misconceptions from my being.
Shortly after discovering the power of decision, I came to the insight of EFFORTLESS, as one of the fundamental principles of the functioning of the Universe, because everything in nature happens without any effort. From the rising of the Sun, the rotation of the Earth around its axis to our own breaths and heartbeats, we perform unconscious operations tens and hundreds of thousands of times a day, without even feeling them. I later read that Deepak Chopra singled out this principle as one of the key ones in his bestseller “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success”.
“Effortless” does not mean that one should lie down and do nothing. On the contrary, I work and create far more than in most periods of my life, only now I do it with pleasure and from the position that I want to do it, and not because I have to.
The themes of EXIT were both Freedom and Love. What do these values mean to you?
It is well known that enlightenment is otherwise called the liberation from karmic captivity and suffering. For me, Freedom means the air and without it I cannot breathe, without it there is no life worth living.
I consider Love to be the basic and main force in the Universe, the force that unites all other forces, love is the source of everything that exists. For me, Love is practically one of the synonyms for God.
The eternal creative mind cannot be stopped by time or space. It is radiant and shakes our being to ever permeating admiration. How did EXIT Festival from your creative mind become a reality? How do you create and de-create?
The most important thing is to connect with your own inner being, which is one with the Universe, or what religions call God. From that space, it is possible to sow the seeds that will create creation from the unmanifested. I am endlessly inspired by that process of manifestation, when from the space of potential energy, which is invisible to us, we manage to cross the magical border and create something new. I have concluded that, as for the creation of life, the combination of masculine and feminine energy is important for this process, both in us and around us.
My advice to everyone is to believe in the best possible scenario, even in the moments when the bleakest scenarios are taking place before their eyes. The nature of the Universe is such that it is always supportive.
When, during the development of a business idea, ideology and business plans collide – how is it possible to remain consistent with oneself and preserve integrity, and still not betray the business plan and continue to make profit?
They only clash on the surface, but in essence they are never in conflict. Because maintaining integrity must be a part of the business plan, this is how to build a brand that will, in the long run, contribute much more to even better business results than short-term benefits. Of course, in these situations, one should always reconsider whether our “preservation of integrity” is connected with the ego and the idea of oneself as a morally superior person, or whether it is a question of true values that must not be abandoned. Everyone’s main goal while building a brand should be to help people and make their lives better, and only then to create a brand and business out of it.
How important is it to be “mindful” instead of “having a mind full of”?
It is literally the difference between life in heaven and hell. Our mind is the most useful servant, but also the most brutal tyrant if it becomes the master. When the soul guides the mind, then we live a dream life. Likewise, when the mind and ego become masters, then we are trapped in spider web of infinite illusions.
Parenting has enriched your life but also led to important spiritual insights. What is the quality of conscious parenting today?
It goes without saying that parenting has completely turned my life around. I realized that Western civilization does not fully understand the true importance of having children and how much we can learn from them. I think that we are here to teach them how to navigate the physical world, but also they are our best spiritual teachers. When children are born, they see the world as it really is, they know that everything around us is just God’s game. They always live in the present moment and are constantly open to play and joy. The main challenge I have as a parent is how to keep the children in that state. How not to enslave their minds and souls, as we have all been enslaved at some point in our growing up due to the parental fear for our own good, so that we can now begin to wake up from that enslavement. I believe that the salvation of the world from destruction, which we are rapidly moving towards, will come not by people suddenly changing globally, but by nurturing new generations whose minds will remain open and who will be aware of their role in life.
It seems that you manage to balance between your success and your inner world. What is peace for you?
For me, peace is whenever I can indulge in communication with my inner being. It can take place during meditation or prayer, but also during boarding or kitesurfing when I become one with the nature around me.
Are you guided by Gandhi’s message: “Be the change you want to see in the world”?
The world that rolls out before our eyes is only a mirror of what is inside us. People in this world live all kinds of lives, from the worst hell to the brightest paradise. Which of the life scenarios we will live depends on what is inside us, since we will attract precisely such people and circumstances into our lives. So not only can we be the change we want to see in the world, but we are the world we create around us. This does not only refer to the material status, power and similar things, which in the life paradigm so far have been considered a measure of success, because the richest man can have a million times unhappier life than a poor rural child. Happiness will be the main measure of a human success in the future.
How important is it to live fearlessly?
Vivekananda, an Indian sage with whom Nikola Tesla corresponded intensively, stated towards the end of his life: “It seems to me that after everything I have lived, the greatest truth of life is hidden in COURAGE.” We live fearless life when we follow our dreams regardless of all the misunderstandings and other obstacles that life puts in front of us to test us whether our faith is strong enough and whether we are worthy of fulfilling the call of our heart. This is also, as Vivekananda noted, one of the most important things in life. Wisdom says that it is much better to take risks and make mistakes, than to regret all of your life that you have not tried.
Have you realized why you as a Soul are here, in this dimension, and what is your unfulfilled mission, as a spiritual warrior, as your name suggests, since Duša/n in Serbian means Soul?
Connecting all spiritual seekers into a global system that will make them invincible and that will ultimately lead to the evolutionary leap of humanity and the healing of the planet. That system will not be created from one centre, it will be created organically, through a large number of small systems around the planet, which will all unite at one point in time.