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THE REAL SUCCESS
What you are looking for in life is comfort. Why do you need money? Because you want comfort. Any need in any direction boils down to one word - comfort.
There are many levels of comfort. One is physical - if you are sitting on the grass, you think, ‘Oh, it would have been better if there was a cushion’.
Then there’s mental comfort - this is even more essential. If you have a comfortable home but the mind is not comfortable, you will not be able to sleep even on a comfortable bed.
Another type is emotional comfort - you have everything, but if someone close to you doesn’t speak to you or does something that hurts you, then your emotional comfort is gone.
Then there’s spiritual comfort - this is comfort of the soul, total peace, an uninterrupted flow of peace and joy from within. Comfort means to be yourself.
Where is comfort? Is it in the body or in the mind? It is a combination of both. Sometimes, when the body is not comfortable, the mind is also not comfortable, and vice versa. More than the body, the comfort of the mind is important. The mind is three times more powerful than the body, so mental comfort is three times more important than physical comfort.
Comfort is based on commitment. Other people’s commitment brings you comfort. For example, the milkman’s commitment to bring you milk gives you comfort. Similarly, your commitment should bring comfort to everyone else. Sometimes people say, ‘Oh, I am stuck with the a commitment, so I am unhappy’. Now, don’t think every commitment will be smooth from the beginning. If you are committed to completing your medical course, then there is bound to be some rough time in between.
However, commitment can take you across all obstacles; and The greater the achievement, the greater the commitment. The more you commit, the more your capacity and capability to do any work. Commitment is always about doing something a little more. You don’t say, ‘I am committed to drinking a glass of water or walking one kilometre’, which you do anyway. Your commitment has to be more than what you think you can do. Commitment is about stretching your capabilities.
There is so much talk about success everywhere. Everyone wants to be successful. Have you ever thought about what success is? It’s simply ignorance of your capabilities. You have set a limitation on yourself, and whenever you cross your own boundary or limitation, you claim success. Success is ignorance of the power of yourself because you assume you can do only that much.
You never say, ‘I successfully ate a banana!’ When you put a limitation, you are limiting the power of your own self, your own consciousness. Every time you achieve something, you feel proud about it, isn’t it? Actually, you should feel sorry about it. You are just proud of what you can easily do, because you do not know that you can do so much more than what you are proud of. When you are successful, you are proud of it, and if you fail, you feel guilty and upset. Both can drag you out of joy, out of the greater potential that you possess.
So, the best thing is to surrender to the Divine. If you are successful, so what? It is another happening, another thing that you did, and you can do much more. If you couldn’t do something well, then you couldn’t do it, that’s all. This moment, do you wish to do it again? Then have the sankalpa, the intention - ‘I have to do it!’ - then you will make good progress, without feeling guilty, without being judgmental. Having this equanimity both in success and in failure, is what will lead you to real success.
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY THE AUTHOR ARE PERSONAL
SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR The writer is an Indian yoga guru, a spiritual leader, founder of The Art of Living