Each 'Choose-day' we will investigate the process by which we can reassess our activity and interaction with the world of plurality and become more congruent within our personality.
The next text which will guide the Choose-day posts is "Tips for Happy Living - jIvnsUÇai[ /jiivanasuutraani", by Swami Tejomayananda (Guru-ji). Choose-days writings are here to prompt deeper thinking on the choices made on a daily basis and seek to provide prompts for raising the standard of one's thinking and living. This text composed in format of Sanskrit traditional teachings, speaks directly to this purpose. As ever, the full text may be obtained from CM Publications - or your local centre (see sidebar).
We move on to Chapter 2, which has the subtitle, "Perform to Potential". Having looked at the need to take charge of one's own life in the first chapter, it is almost certain that there are some folk left wondering… 'does it not seem that there are some who seem to be the chosen few to succeed in life?' It can seem that way at times, can it not? We can think that we are putting our best in but somehow never achieving. However, the very first suutra of this chapter makes it clear that there is equal chance for all.
svRe jna> s)ltamaPtu< yaeGya> smwaRí.1.
Sarve janaaH saphalataam-aaptum yogyaaH samarthaashcha ||1||
All people are eligible and capable of achieving success.
There are some who believe that there are others born under some kind of 'special star' or are blessed by Grace of this or that influence such as social status, connections… the way the wind is blowing… There can be a negative mind-set which declares "I can never succeed, I am good for nothing." Or there may be others who do this thinking on another's behalf, disabling them with the attitude.
None of it is true! All can succeed. EVERYONE HAS THIS CAPACITY WITHIN THEM. The thing that makes the difference between the successful and the not-so is the ability to recognise the potential within and to tap into it. When we are young and tender, it makes all the difference in the world if we have a relative or teacher who recognises a spark of creativity within us and seeks to nurture it, empowering us to recognise our own capacity in due time and then to further build upon that. There are a few rare individuals who definitely are born with an innate understanding of their own talent and the ability to utilise every opportunity; but be clear about this - every single one of us has talent, we just need to accept that it is there and have the will to make the most of it.
What is true about the individual is also true for organisations, communities and nations. First there has to be the recognition of potential, then the drive to maximise that potential. There is no saying it is easy, but there are plenty of examples around the world of where this is done. (It is worth taking note here that what one calls as 'success' may vary according to various criteria also; thus being realistic is a part of the process.)
When it comes to success in business, society etc, all members within the structure have to own a responsibility for the part they play within it and, for success to be genuine, be fully engaged in the common goal. This also requires that the strengths and weakness of the individuals within the business/community/nation are properly directed, well resourced and managed. It requires clear insight, realistic goal setting, strong communication and so on.
Never underestimate yourself… or another! Okay - but how can it be said that ALL are capable of success?
ysmaTSvtNÇta mnu:y-jnmnae ivze;ta.2.
Yasmaat-svatantrataa manushya-janmano visheshataa ||2||
Since freedom is the speciality of human life.
The freedom being referred to here is the ability to override the general animal instincts. Humans alone have intellectual capacity, a higher-thinking function which permits us to recognise our physical limitation and overcome them. All other animal species are not equipped thus; a cow cannot be anything other than a grass-eating, milk-producer; an elephant may know itself to be part of a greater structure (evidence of societal connection), but still it cannot break away from the savannas and forests of its birth.
The physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual personality of Man gives him infinite potential to be more than he is born as. We have tremendous examples of this in the likes of Professor Stephen Hawking and John Nash, each 'trapped' in different ways, yet towering contributions made to society and science because of the antaH karana - that inner apparatus of mind-memory-ego-intellect.
Each and every day, in some small way, there are children and adults around the globe whose potential is ready to flourish. If we feel limited or incapable then it is only by our own thinking. Time and again it is proven that if we want something badly enough, we can obtain it - preferably by fair means! Each of us must fund the will to knock down any obstacles put in our way. Very often, too, the limitation is put upon us by our family or wider social structure. If we have the strength of character and the determination, we can override such bindings also. Of course, sometimes this means there is a price to be paid. Only we can assess that value to ourselves.