Success has become such a hot pursuit in today’s society. Success is being used as a measure of well-being by millions of people on this planet. And in turn success is most often equated to wealth, fame and power. We often want to emulate others, we want to replicate their success, replicate their wealth without looking at success itself deeply. And in the feverish pursuit of this end, we miss out on the things we love the most. Things that we have kept carefully locked in a box on our top shelf telling ourselves ‘One day, one day…..’.
“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value” – Albert Einstein
Practice of meditation gives us a reflection of who we really are, and all other non-essential slowly drops off like dead skin. At that moment of truth, we know what we really love to do, and we are ready to take a chance to risk it all to pursue that.
There is a word in Sanskrit ‘Sankalpa’ that loosely translate to ‘intention’, determination without any aggression or feverishness. Setting a sankalpa is an innocent wish very much like a 7 year old kid wishing he/she will grow up to become a doctor. One just puts their attention on it and then innocently lets it go, not holding on to it. The universe has a very effective mechanism in place much like an assembly line manufacturing, which immediately goes to work to bring the sankalpa to fruition. However sankalpa must be accompanied with dispassion (not to be read as lack of passion). Dispassion is centeredness and detachment of the mind from events, emotions and dropping feverishness towards the wish.
But most often what we do is we hold on to our wish and become feverish about getting it right away. And by doing this we set into effect an opposing parallel process called “Vikalpa”. The universe with all innocence, gets to work on the vikalpa and thus our initial sankalpa remains unfulfilled. While all this happens hidden from our sight and intellect, we keep wondering why we are not getting anything or anywhere in life.
Liking a nice suit at a boutique store in like setting a sankalpa, and one innocently lets it go and forgets about it. But looking at it and thinking in our mind “Oh I wish I could buy it now, I want it right now but I don’t have enough money now”, or “Yea I am not rich enough to buy this, this is for super rich only” we are focusing our attention on the lack in our life. And lack is what gets magnified, we start feeling lack in everything. We suddenly feel everything is slipping out of our grip and what we rejoiced yesterday is not good enough anymore. This makes us more negative and it goes on. Whereas when we pass on our wish to the universe and become completely unperturbed by whether we have it or not, if we would ever get it or not, the universe surprises us beyond our wildest imagination.
Being dispassionate immensely improves our capability of not being swayed by temporary gains or series of failures and keeps one focused on the path. One is not looking to gain or get anything, one is simply enjoying being immersed in doing something they love. This gives immense energy, as one is confident of the end result and one has not set out a deadline to get it.
“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill
Practicing dispassion helps us discover our true passion and one can work more effectively and tirelessly. All this happens when one simply drop the feverishness. Revered spiritual master Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was once asked the question “How do you go about your daily schedules, traveling to different continents almost every week, while sleeping only 3-4 hours every day and still be so efficient and effective and energetic”. His answer was “Perfect balance between passion and dispassion”.
Success is just a side effect, it is the tangible outer expression of practicing such balance of passion and dispassion. The real prize is deep inside, the joy of realizing how easy it is to make something happen when you completely detach your mind from the events of daily happening. The universe provides for the cheetah the fastest animal and also python a slow creature. The cosmos is working every detail to bring every need and wish to you in a gift box wrapped with sparkling ribbons. Realizing this dissolves the effort we make towards getting things NOW.
The universe is saying, relax and enjoy the sun while I get you your drink. Listen to it.