Think Success - An Introduction

Think Success by Jayaram V

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by Jayaram V

Source: This was originally published in the book “Think Success, Essays on Self-help” by Jayaram V and reproduced with the publisher's permission.

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The ultimate goal of life is not to have any goals. The real joy of living comes to us when we learn to flow with the world and accept life as it happens. This is the highest goal for the mankind, envisioned ages ago, by our saints, seers, teachers, prophets and incarnations.

However, not all are capable of surrendering to the flow of life and accepting things as they are. Until most people reach such an ideal and make it the sole aim of their lives they need to work on transforming their consciousness to hold the brilliance of their own divinity, without being overwhelmed by it. Until they achieve perfection, they have to remain within the realm of perceptual reality and focus upon mundane aspects of their lives to prepare for their mental and spiritual growth and evolution.

Our inner calling for enlightenment manifests in us in many ways. It arises in us as the deepest yearning to transcend our limitations and realize our true potentials. It propels us to enter the objective world, and attain permanent happiness by securing the things we love or avoiding those we detest. Sometimes, it assumes in us the form of a deep-seated obsession to achieve permanence through physical means, by controlling the natural processes such as aging, sickness and death.

Our preoccupation with materialistic life is but a disguised or even a sublimated expression of our spiritual longing to extend ourselves into the objective world and secure our lives. Having become imprisoned inside our bodies, we express our longing for freedom by trying to go beyond our physical boundaries, into forms and things to become an integral part of the creation and the world of God. For an individuality that mirrors the illusions of life, securing things seems to be a natural solution to the problem of impermanence and instability caused by the forces of Nature.

Materialism does not deliver us from impermanence and the problem of death and disease. The accumulation of things leads not to freedom, but to bondage and suffering. All religions allude to this truth and warn us against the impending dangers of excessive materialism and attachment to things. They prescribe a moral code of conduct as the divine law for the people to balance their materialistic ambitions with spiritual aspirations and safeguard themselves against the consequences of desire- ridden actions.

Using our natural faculties and intelligence we can express our deepest thoughts and make organized effort to realize our persistent dreams. Each of us has the ability or potential to achieve success. If people do not succeed, it is because they do not want to. Knowingly or unknowingly, somewhere in their minds, or in their subconscious thoughts, they create limiting beliefs about their abilities and opportunities, and deny themselves the desire to succeed.

Because of self-defeating attitude and negativity, most people fail to secure peace and happiness and suffer from negativity, doubt and despair. They focus mostly on what they do not have or what they cannot do, rather than what they can accomplish with their natural talents and skills. They may believe that they do not deserve success or do not have the ability, deluded by the notion that success is achieved by extraneous factors like fate or family background, rather than one’s own ability. Other than this, they may also come to the wrong conclusion that to be successful one has to break rules and indulge in questionable acts of immorality and evil. Success does demand its own price. However, to be successful one does not have to barter away one’s soul or compromise one's values.

Success and effort go together There are no shortcuts to success, while there are many to failure. In life you either make things possible with your resolve or let them happen by remaining passive and inactive. People often blame others, even God, for their failures, despite evidence to the contrary. Sometimes, there may be a real justification to blame others for your personal failure. However, when you analyze such incidents, you will realize that they could not have happened without your involvement and complicity.

Your life is shaped mostly by your thoughts and actions. We are endowed with a free will, which greatly determines the course of our lives. Sometimes events may happen without our consent or against our will, but it should not be an excuse to avoid taking responsibility. We create most of the circumstances in our lives, by our thoughts, decisions, and actions. Others may play a role to the extent we let them control our lives and actions, but ultimately it was we who let them happen. Whatever you do and achieve in your life, even divine intervention, happens because of your desires and decisions only.

Irrespective of the circumstances in which we are born or live, we have an innate ability to control our minds and bodies and regulate our lives. We have some power over our destinies. We are wired to be potentially intelligent and competitive. In the entire universe, until now, we are the only rational beings, having the skill and the ability to survive in most testing circumstances and in a very difficult, unstable, unfriendly and unpredictable world. We do have many weaknesses, but we also possess many strengths. Although, history may not recognize the achievements of every worthy individual, we know that the world would not have been where it is today without the contribution of everyone who lived upon earth. Each living being, intelligent or otherwise, sets in motion a chain of events and forces, which generations later, branch out into innumerable streams. Whether intended by Nature, or not, each being who lives upon earth has a place and role in the universal scheme of things. Without even one, the manifest universe would be incomplete.

We may not know that in our lives we influence many people and are influenced in return. Our actions and interactions grease the wheels of life upon earth, creating positive and negative consequences, while we suffer because of them. The absence of even a single person on earth will have far reaching consequences for the generations that follow. A person who was born a few thousand years ago might be an ancestor to millions of people who are alive today, while the plants and the animals he destroyed or fostered might have left their own brush strokes upon the canvas of the earth.

One of the most promising features of success is that it is this worldly. We can see it and feel it and discern it in the people we meet or the people we know through others. The world offers us innumerable opportunities to achieve success, and to experience it, understand it and manifest it in our own personalized ways. While success may mean different things to different people, we know inherently what it means and how it can be achieved. We know instinctively when someone achieves success, as we are conditioned to succeed in our lives and look for opportunities to excel in our actions. Successful people affect the world in many ways. They leave behind a great personal example and may set new standards of behavior and excellence. Their influence lasts for generations, as others follow their example and create their own successes.

Society owes a great deal to people who succeed in their lives, even if they are not well known, because with each success they achieve, they add a vast pool of knowledge to our collective wisdom. Successful people thrive in free societies where they have equal opportunities and freedom to excel by using their talents and skills and proving their worth. Countries, which discount individual success and promote the idea of collective will, ignore this fundamental fact. The life of each individual is precious, and the ultimate authority upon it rests with the individual who embodies it rather than any extraneous power. What this means is that we must promote individuality and encourage people to achieve individual success, without losing sight of the greater good to which each individual can contribute and the obligatory duties they are expected to perform.

The articles presented in this book are about how to achieve success, peace and happiness, within the limitations to which you are subject. They are meant to provide you with inspiration and information to cultivate a growth mindset, which can help you to reach your goals with commitment and determination. You can go through this book in whatever way you want. You may read the entire volume or only those articles that apply to you. You can also refer to the articles whenever you feel your motivation is weakening or you need to recharge and refocus.

My writings are meant for those who want to improve themselves, and who believe in themselves and in their will to succeed. If success or excellence is your goal, you may find this book useful and worth reading. Everything happens for a reason. If you are reading these lines, it means that you are interested in self-improvement, and know that success is not a pipe dream but a certain possibility. If you are reading my books or my writings, know that you are in communication with a person who is genuinely interested in your growth and welfare and who has himself struggled in life to overcome certain limitations and live differently. With my knowledge, abilities, skills, perfection and imperfections, I have brought these ideas to you to be molded in the crucible of your own life and experience.

In this context, I want to share with you my personal philosophy, which played a significant role in shaping these ideas. It is based upon the following seven funda- mental beliefs or convictions. They influence my thinking and actions and help me to find clarity, direction and purpose and be myself in a world of diverse opinions and conflicting approaches.

  • We are part of the universe. The universe expresses through us, and we express the universe through us.
  • We have a right to safeguard our lives and interests from exploitation and intimidation, and secure peace and happiness for ourselves and others.
  • As long as we live upon earth, for our individual and collective good we have to fulfill certain duties and obligations.
  • We are endowed with certain abilities and potentialities, which we must manifest fully to fulfill the very purpose for which we are born.
  • Our lives and destinies are shaped by the choices we make. Our happiness as well as our suffering arise from our choices only. Therefore, for our own good we must exercise our choices wisely with great discretion.
  • To achieve something, we must believe in something, be it God, a personal philosophy, or a set of values that help us to deal with the problems we face and remain strong.
  • To fulfill the aims of creation and our existence, we must fully manifest our uniqueness and individuality until we rest in the ocean of life without a trace.

Suggestions for Further Reading

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