The Sunlit Path|Mar 4, 2007 7:45 AM| by:

The Demands of Success

We all seek ‘success’ in life, we want to achieve, to get the most out of our lives. But very few of us know what is the true meaning of ‘success’, how do we achieve it, what is ‘failure’ and how do we avoid or overcome it.

For many of us, it is a question of utmost importance and demands an answer:

Question : How can I get the most out of my life? How do I find true Success? What work do I need to do on myself to realise this goal?

We give below an excerpt from a talk of the Mother, given in April 1915, to a group of spiritual seekers. Here the Mother not only explains the real meaning of ‘success’ and ‘failure’ but also shows the way to be followed by a spiritual aspirant and the sadhana which is required.

To know how to renounce the satisfaction of the present moment for the sake of realising one’s ideal is the great art of those who want to make their transient, total existence yield its utmost.

    Success and Failure

There are innumerable categories of “successful” people; these categories are determined by the greater or lesser breadth, nobility, complexity, purity and luminosity of their ideal. One may “succeed” as a rag-picker or “succeed” as master of the world or even as a perfect ascetic; in all three cases, although on very different levels, it is one’s more or less integral and extensive self-mastery which makes the “success” possible.

On the other hand, there is only one way of being a “failure”; and that happens to the greatest, to the most sovereign intelligence, as well as to the smallest, the most limited, to all those who are unable to subordinate the sensation of the present moment to the ideal they wish to achieve, but without having the strength to take up the path-identical for all in nature if not in extent and complexity-that leads to this achievement.

  Levels of Aims of Life

Between the extreme of an individual who has fully and perfectly realised all he had conceived and that of one who has been incapable of realising anything at all, there is, of course, an almost unlimited range of intermediate cases; this range is remarkably complex, because not only is there a difference in the degree of realisation of the ideal, but there is also a difference between the varied qualities of the ideal itself. There are ambitions which pursue mere personal interests, material, sentimental or intellectual, others which have more general, more collective or higher aims, and yet others which are superhuman, so to say, and strive to scale the peaks that open on the splendours of eternal Truth, eternal Consciousness and eternal Peace. It is easy to understand that the power of one’s effort and renunciation must be commensurate with the breadth and height of the goal one has chosen.

    The Secret of Success

At any level, from the most modest to the most transcendent, one rarely finds a perfect balance between the sum of self-control, the power of sacrifice available to the individual who has chosen a goal, and the sum of renunciations of every kind and nature which the goal requires.

When the constitution of an individual permits this perfect balance, then his earthly existence yields its utmost possible result.
The Mother