What is success?
To one it means one thing and to another it may mean something quite different. Some people desire happiness and love above all things and could they put gain these would count themselves successful in the highest degree, even though their circumstances remain humble and comparatively poor. Some desire fame or a distinction in science, their ambition is to create something, discover or investigate, others want to do something that has never been done before and the only reward they seek is the joy of accomplishment. Some want to be great in music, painting, in sculpture, others seek to be leaders in the chosen profession of medicine, law, religion or politics. Others have ambitions to serve their generation, to give the greatest that they can in service of humanity. Some seek mental, and others seek spiritual, attainment, others would be perfectly satisfied if they could simply have perfect health. Others want pure wealth. Success in its lowest form is the accumulation of only material wealth, the building up of a large business, or the earning of a large income without any mention of the experience of how or the contribution to society of their services. Although this is not so lofty as it’s predecessors, it is not an unworthy ambition, and if kept within bounds, the result will benefit the entire community, and not be too great a burden to the individual achieving it.
Whatever your ambition may be, follow it. Whatever you have a taste for, whatever it is you have a burning desire to accomplish, follow it and strive after it. It is useless to try and be successful if you don’t have the stomach for it.
Square pegs in Round holes.
Before you can make your life a full and abundant success, you must find your “niche“ and fill it. There is, somewhere in the world, work for you to do; work, which no one else can do as well, and which no one else can do in quite same way. There are many examples I can bring forward in support of this. People who were anything and everything and unsuccessful in all of it, until, at last they hit on something they could do a little better than anybody else and it brought them the most amazing success.
If you have an ambition, follow it, seek it, concentrate all your energies upon it. Bend and focus all the faculties of your mind towards its accomplishment. Fortunes have never been made, neither have ideals ever been attained, by half-hearted or lukewarm effort. Hit the nail of ambition on the head with all your power and strength, don’t tap it like you would a carpet tack. Strive humanly, relying on the power within you, and sooner or later great success will be yours.
If you have not yet found your niche, seek for it: Seek, and keep on seeking, and your illumination will show you the path and open up the way. While searching for your niche do not neglect your business or profession or work. Some people have been foolish enough to throw out their present job before finding for a fresh one. Needless to say this is not the course that these lessons or my teachings recommend. Mix caution with your ambition, do not be headstrong, be a blend of tremendous energy, burning ambition and caution and restraint.
Remove negative judgement from the core of your decision and ambition. Do not run away from things you judge and try to find someplace that does not have what you judged. Judgements follow you. Love it before you leave it.
If you shirk duty and responsibility in order to “get on” you defeat yourself and curse your future life. On the other hand, if you do your duty, however unpleasant, and shoulder cheerfully, your responsibilities, no matter how heavy they are, affirming success, visualising better conditions, listening to the inner voice of wisdom, you will find that sooner or later the way will be opened up before you in a wonderful manner, and you will enter into a life of great joy and usefulness. The outward life will and must, conform to the inward life, sooner or later the change must come, but only if you are calm, and steady and serene.
In your ambition to find a way out of undesirable circumstances, do not be tempted to take any shortcut, instead be guided only by the inner voice of intuition. No matter how anxious you are to change your conditions do not be persuaded to do anything that will not bear the strictest examination in the light of your highest values.
Therefore please take these “nevers“ as “Do Nots” (not donuts) as signposts and beacons to warn you from mythical shortcuts, which lead only to personal disaster and failure.
- Never wrong anyone.
- Never betray a trust.
- Never go back on your word.
- Never do anything selfish.
- Never repudiate an agreement.
- Never shirk your responsibilities.
- Never do anything that looks mean in the light of your perfect world of mind.
- Finally, live your life to a principle, the principle of truth, justice and love.
In choosing your ambition, or more realistically your ambition chooses you, which ever it is, examine it carefully and see just where it’s going to lead you. Even if ambition chooses you, you still have the power to exercise restraint and to modify it according to reason. Ask yourself the question, “am I prepared to pay the price of success?“ If it is money and business success that you are going to seek, are you prepared to pay the price?
Remember that people of this type I describe here by successful, live long hard days. They can never get away from their business. Many people have mobile phones by their bedside, some have a bedroom and a bathroom at their office, so that in stressful times they don’t need to go home, they can work 20 and sometimes even 22 hours a day.
Paying the price:
Some business and entertainment successful people have constitutions of iron: in chasing their ambitions sometimes these people become nervous wrecks and most of them have periods of low enjoyment in life outside their business. The wealth is of no use to them in this working mode but they get through it and then the wealth can buy lifestyle. In order to keep fit some successful people have to live on the most simple food and, as regards work and recreation a convict has an easy life in comparison. Their only joy is the joy of accomplishment, the glow of satisfaction at having achieved. Are you prepared to pay that price if your success demands it? If you are, go forward and if you really believe you can succeed, and have built-up your mental powers and character as described in these lessons on Success Formula, you must succeed. Do not blame money however if you find wealth and success of this type more of a burden than you thought. The only satisfaction you get out of business is the satisfaction of having built up a business. I speak from experience. I went in for this type of success and in three years created out of nothing, one of the largest businesses of its kind in Asia. I had lived in a very small house and had to economise on a very tiny income. I had been very happy, when I became amazing rich, the owner of a big business, and could keep a swim pool, tennis courts and two cars and other things to match. But I certainly was not as happy. I would’ve been happier if I had modified my ambition and had been satisfied with a smaller business, a less generous income, and had in consequence more enjoyment with my family and a bigger opportunity for self-improvement.
To all who are starting out on the road to success I offer this advice. Think well before you start, because once you have started you can’t turn back. Even if after a time you find that you have made a mistake you must keep on, because to chop and change your mental image about anything is to attract self-diminishing disaster and bring confusion into your life. When once you have put your hand to the wheel you must never look back, therefore before starting make sure that you are starting on the right road. After all, the satisfying of a great ambition is not the best thing in life. Maybe if you sacrifice part of your ambition and therefore live a more normal and will balance life, your life will, in its broader sense, be more successful than if you sacrifice everything to accomplishment of your ambition. One can become a multimillionaire and be but a poor shrivelled soul in many other respects. Far better it is, and I speak again from experience, to aim for a broader ideal, to aspire both to prosperity and wealth, but also for great health and happiness and peace of mind rather than to sacrifice these things at the altar of ambition.
Far better is it to build up character than a great business, to develop an insight into natures beauty than to earn $1 million; it is far better to enjoy good health, refreshing sleep, and a splendid appetite, than to own a massive house and at the same time suffer from nerves and insomnia. You will find many people who attack life with such ambition that they get abdominal discomfort as stress migrates through their body and causes them untold discomfort and pain.
But whatever your ambition may be, once you have started, stick to it. Do not change until your object is achieved. If you choose wealth, continue to pursue it. Concentrate all your powers on winning it, affirm its accomplishment visualise yourself having achieved the object of your endeavours. If you will do this success will come and be yours.
To chop and change about your ambition can become fatal. Success is largely a matter of concentration, it is equally dependent upon staying power. Having settled upon your ambition, concentrate on it. Let nothing turn you away. Having mapped out your path, pursue it. No matter what opposition or difficulty you may encounter, go straight on. That will be the advice of every great coach and the opposite advice from those who love you or who are invested in you socially. They will say quit, change jobs, give up, be happy. But you will remember that thought is the most powerful and wonderful power in the universe, and that you can control your thoughts; therefore by controlling your thought you have perfect mastery over the most potent force of which we have any knowledge. You will trust your convictions more than the outer voices or friends and family. Having perfect mastery over these most potent forces you therefore have control over your life and circumstances, and therefore there is nothing that can prevent your ultimate success, except your own lack of faith and staying power.