Question: If we want to succeed in life, what plays a major role – fate, God, effort or luck?

Sadhguru: Maybe all of them, but in what proportion? When you say fate, obviously it is something you cannot do anything about. When you say luck, again it is something you cannot do anything about. God is also not something you can do anything about. The only thing that is in your hands is effort. Put one hundred percent into your effort and what happens, happens. Don’t leave proportions of your energy and your capability to luck¸ God, fate, and all these things – that is not your business. If there is such a thing, it will act. Your business is only effort, and the effort has to be incisive; it should be focused and calibrated. Simply creating effort is foolish. Hard labor alone is not going to get you somewhere. The right kind of action, timing and place are all important.

For these things to happen, you need perception and intelligence. That is all you must do in your life – constantly look for ways to enhance your perception and intelligence. The rest will anyway happen. And this is the one thing that humanity is unfortunately not doing.

For example, 25 years ago, everyone wanted to become a doctor. If you wanted to study, the first choice was medicine. Let us say you became a doctor, but everyone started coming to yoga programs and stopped having to go to doctors. Business would go down. It would no longer be a good profession to go into. Anyway, very few people are becoming doctors because they want to become doctors. There are a few who really want to be doctors, and who understand the human system and serve people, but others are becoming doctors because they think it is lucrative. It is quite disturbing for me that someone’s sickness is a lucrative business, because you would not want everyone to become healthy.

No Recipe For Success

Do not try to put up a recipe for your success. Real success happens when you use yourself to your full potential. It does not matter whether you become a doctor, politician, a yogi or whatever; success means you are living your life to your full potential. If that has to happen, you need perception and an active intelligence. “How do I grow my intelligence?” Don’t worry about that. The important thing is to enhance your perception. If you are able to see life just the way it is, you have the necessary intelligence to conduct it well. If you are not able to see life the way it is, your intelligence will work against you. Intelligent people on this planet are generally the most miserable people. This is simply because they have an active intelligence but no perception of life.

People today are trying to broaden their minds, which may make one socially successful, but not truly successful. If you want to be truly successful, you must be able to see everything just the way it is, without distortions. If you can see everything just the way it is, life becomes a play, a game. You can play it joyfully and you can play it well for sure. If you can play it well, people will say you are successful.

You should not be aspiring for success. It is a miserable way to structure your life. You will simply cause pain and suffering to yourself and everyone because your idea of success right now is that everyone should be below you, while you are on top.

This is not success; this is sickness. Never think, “I want to be successful.” Just see how to make yourself into a full-fledged being, and it will find expression. If it finds good expression, people around you will say, “He is a great success!” That’s fine. People should recognize that you are a success, but you should not be thinking about how to be successful. That is a very wrong way to approach life.

Living Life to the Fullest

Once you have come as a human being, the potential of what it means to be human – all the dimensions of who you are – must be experienced. Only then would I say you are successful. And the ability to explore that potential, the daring to explore that potential, will come to you when you come to a state within yourself where there is no fear of suffering, that no matter what the life situation is, your experience of life will not alter itself.

Right now, Isha is involved in two dozen social projects. Some of them are mega-size projects in Tamil Nadu and the rest of the world. But I am not even concerned about the success of my activity. If they happen well, they will be beneficial for many people. But even if everything fails, I will still be blissful. I will do my best, there is no question about that because I have nothing to lose and nothing to gain whichever way, but the success of the activity depends on a variety of situations, and on cooperation from millions of people. However, what happens to these projects or how successful they are in terms of the world’s eyes will not determine my experience of life.

If you have to find fulfillment, if you have to know the joy of doing something, you will only know it when your action is total– one hundred percent. In everything that you are doing, if you are absolutely one hundred percent, you will notice your action will have a certain sense of exuberance. My activity stretches for almost 18 to 20 hours a day, seven days of the week, 365 days a year. Maybe in someone else’s mind this would look like slavery. It is not so for me because I spend my days in absolute exuberance, and that is so for a lot of people around me. This is success, if you want to name it that way, but what I would say is, this is life.

Editor's Note: This article is excerpted from the ebook “Ambition to Vision”, available at Isha Downloads.


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