“To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest critics; to appreciate beauty, to give of one’s self, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life breathed easier because you have lived – that is to have succeeded.” Emerson
Success in life can be defined as the continued expansion of happiness and the progressive realization of worthy goals.
A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the ultimate sum of all his thoughts.
There can be no progress, no achievement without sacrifice. A man’s worldly success will be in the measure that he sacrifices his confused animal thoughts, and fixes his mind on the development of his plans, and the strengthening of his resolution and selfreliance. And the higher he lifts his thoughts, the more manly, upright and righteous he becomes, the greater will be his success, the more blessed and enduring will be his achievement.
Each one of us comes into this world with unique talents and capabilities – mostly under-utilized. We are what we are because of ourselves. Our life today is the result of our choices, decisions and actions up to this point. We can create our own future by changing our behavior. We can make new choices and decisions that are most consistent with the person we want to be and the things we want to accomplish.
Most Psychologists agree that our level of self-esteem is the most important part of our personality, and largely predicts our success or failure, happiness or unhappiness, in every area of our life. The preservation and development of self-esteem becomes the key to high performance, happiness and success.
‘Self-esteem’ is appreciating our own worth and having the character to be accountable for ourselves and to act responsibly towards others.
To appreciate our own worth and importance means to be aware of and to recognize the significance of our own worth, of our value to ourselves and to others, of our place in the world. Each of us has unique significance, simply because the precious and mysterious gift of life as a human being has been given. This is an inherent value which no adversary or adversity can take away. This sense of innate worth is reinforced when each individual’s unique abilities are recognized, developed and used to enrich our society.
Appreciating our own worth and importance is futile if it fails to foster responsible character and integrity in our actions. Character is evidenced in actions. Honesty, compassion, discipline, industriousness, reverence, perseverance, devotion, forgiveness, kindness, courage, gratitude, and grace are among the qualities which integrity of character produces. Character is nurtured in the family which loves and accepts the child, thus affirming his or her own worth and importance. Every child needs to be treated with respect, consistently, and from the earliest moment of life.
Being accountable means accepting responsibility for our own actions, for the consequences of our own behaviors.
The primary way in which we show respect to others is to step out of the state of anxious self-concern – long enough to give others our attention – to listen, to understand, to care.
Success in life is largely dependent upon will-power. Success is also a great physical as well as mental tonic, and tends to strengthen the will-power. Strong-willed men, as a rule, are successful men, and great success is almost impossible without it.
There is no open door to the temple of success. Everyone who enters makes his own door, which closes behind him to all others.
A constant struggle, a ceaseless battle to bring success from inhospitable surroundings, is the price of all achievement.
Failure often leads a man to success by arousing his latent energy, by firing a dormant purpose, by awakening powers which were sleeping.
“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extra-ordinary project, all of your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” Patanjali
To succeed a man must concentrate all the faculties of his mind upon one unwavering aim, and have a tenacity of purpose. Every other inclination which tempts him from his aim must be suppressed.
To be successful is to find your sphere and fill it, to get into your place and master it.
The three great essentials to success in mental and physical labor are Practice, Patience, and Perseverance.
It is victory after victory with the soldier, lesson after lesson with the scholar, blow after blow with the laborer, crop after crop with farmer, picture after picture with the painter, and mile after mile with the traveler that secures what all so much desire – Success.
“Afraid of obstacles, the lowest of persons do not start a work. The average ones do start a work, but leave it when faced with obstacles. The best persons, however, when they start a work, do not leave it in between, even in face of repeated obstructions.” [Neeti Shatakam 24] The present is the raw material out of which we can make whatever we will. So do not brood over the past; do not worry about the future. Seize the present opportunities and do your best in all circumstances. Once we decide on a path to follow, we must stick to it with all the tenacity we can muster. Let nothing tempt us to swerve a hair’s breadth from our aim. Great tenacity of purpose is the only thing that will carry us through the hard times which appear in the way to ultimate success.
“Whether the ethical experts condemn or praise, whether prosperity comes or goes or is sufficient, whether death comes today or after a long time, the wise persons do not deviate even a step from the right course.” Neeti Shatakam 83] Success involves the power of concentration, riveting every faculty upon an unwavering aim; perseverance in the pursuit of an undertaking in spite of every difficulty; and courage which enables one to bear up under all trials, disappointments, and temptations.
“Find a difficulty and overcome it. Find an obstacle and master it. All around you are the great life-giving, life-sustaining forces of the universe. Give yourself to them. Trust them. Lift up your eyes to the hills. Keep them fixed on the highest peaks --- and you will always find the strength you need.”