The purpose of service is not productivity or popularity but purity
In our rushed lives, we often have so many things to do that we are caught in getting them done, not in enjoying doing them. Moreover, social pressure makes us to do many things that are not among our favorites, so we do them primarily to win others’ approval. Thus productivity or popularity becomes our driving purpose.
If this productivity- or popularity-driven mentality carries over into our spiritual life, we miss the essential joy of spirituality – the joy of remembering Krishna internally while externally doing various services for him. To the extent we have devotion for Krishna, to that extent his remembrance brings ecstasy. But even if his remembrance doesn’t bring ecstasy, it still brings purity – it drives away impurities like lust, anger and greed from our heart. In fact, the Bhagavad-gita (05.11) urges seekers to practice yoga for attaining purity.
Of course, the highest devotees serve Krishna selflessly, for no purpose other than his pleasure. But till we attain their exalted level, purity is a healthy driving purpose to cultivate. And we can make our aspiration for purity selfless by seeking purity not to delight in the pride of being purer than others, but to serve Krishna better and please him more.
In our spiritual life, it is nice to do lots of services for Krishna. It is also nice to do services well so as to gain others’ approval and attract them to Krishna. But if productivity or popularity usurps purity as our driving purpose, then we unwittingly drive ourselves towards externals away from Krishna.
By conscientiously striving for purity, we can absorb ourselves in the empowering remembrance of Krishna. This absorption frequently generates as a byproduct productivity and popularity. But more importantly, purity leads to ecstasy – the supreme ecstasy of eternal love for Krishna.
"The yogis, abandoning attachment, act with body, mind, intelligence and even with the senses, only for the purpose of puriﬁcation."