Coming towards the year-end, many people will be looking back at 2013 and wonder how successful they have been. Success generally comes in terms of work and earning money, achievements, marriage, etc. People may find they have been successful in one area, yet lacking in another. Or they have been successful all the way through, yet still a sense of insecurity or sadness is there. What is it that binds us to sadness? How come we can't just be happy with what we have and the way we are?
This is because we are always focused on the results of our actions. We do something good, and expect to receive good results as well. We cannot help but expect, because that is what we have always been doing. An action's result can come in a 4-fold way: equal to our expectations, above our expectations, below our expectations, or opposite to our expectations. So when things turn out in such a way that it's not favorable to us, we feel unsuccessful.
The truth is, Success is all about the right attitude. With the right attitude, you will be successful no matter what the outcome is. The attitude is to focus on the actions, do whatever is to be done, with commitment and with the best of your ability, and let the result happen as it's supposed to. The Bhagavad Gita explains:
कर्मन्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन (Karmanyevādhikāraste mā phaleṣu kadācana)
We have control only over our actions, and not over their results.If you really understand this, then you will always be successful. We are the authors of our actions, but not of the results. There are many laws involved which generate the result of an action- including the Law of Karma. Sometimes we are lucky, sometimes we are unlucky. But in fact, it is just our karma playing out. By accepting the Law of Karma, we can be objective with the situations which arise in our lives. It allows for acceptance, surrender, and peacefully going along with whatever is happening. This may be easier said than done. But when you're in such a situation, and you can't do anything about it, you might as well take the situation for what it is, and deal with it objectively.
"It is impossible to figure out what is going to come. I cannot know everything that is going to happen, and even if could know, I cannot stop it. I am limited in powers and skills and knowledge. This is a fact you have to recognize. The more you recognize that fact, the more you will be equipped to deal with it. That recognition, in its wake, brings about a change in your attitude towards yourself and also towards what you are facing. Because results are expected, and because I am pragmatic and equipped enough cognitively, I am able to take them as they come. Because I understand that I do not call all the shots, and because the results are inherent in every action, I can only be prayerful, and take them as they come. The pragmatism comes from the understanding that the other two, less and opposite [results], are also expected. They are in the game" - Swami Dayananda SaraswatiDealing with life objectively is Yoga. Understanding that I have no choice in the results of my actions, gives me a certain freedom and allows me to go with the flow. It gives me the capacity to be objective, and take things as they come.
"Life is not a matter for judgment on the basis of any one day. If I enjoy this process I am successful. I become wiser. This is born of understanding; it is freedom expressed. My desire is an expression of freedom. It doesn’t bind me; it is a privilege. If I look at it this way, my life is called a life of yoga. I grow as a person. It is that person who can become compassionate, who can be understanding, who can be non-judgmental about himself and others also. That person is successful" - Swami Dayananda SaraswatiWith little effort and focus, we can all incorporate this attitude into our lives. Grant yourself this freedom, and allow your success to come from this understanding. Success lies in the dedication of your thoughts, words, and deeds. Do the best that you can, and the rest.. will all be taken care of.