September 2009

“Nothing worth achieving can be achieved without self-effort.”
– Chinmaya

When we flip through the pages of history, we find that every remarkable feat or achievement was preceded by great obstacles and strong resistances – physical illness, insufficient funds, uninspired men to work with, unhealthy surroundings, lack of support, sharp criticisms from all over proving why the vision is impossible to materialize…

They all appear to be rather a good justification to retreat and to quit. It is always seen that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. The truth is that every problem comes to us as a blessing in disguise. Only in the face of difficulties, we remain alert and hence learn more. As we stretch all our faculties to meet the bigger and unfamiliar challenges, we slowly come to realize that our potentials were never limited. In every field, we find people emerging stronger and wiser after going through certain dark periods. No wonder, the best steel has to pass through the hottest furnace.

Hence obstacles are unavoidable for progress.

We walk forward only because of the resistance offered by the ground. In electrical circuits, resistances are deliberately introduced for the smooth functioning of various devices. In gymnasiums, the bodybuilders develop their muscles, not by going along, but by going against the force of gravity. All successes seen in this world have come about only by overcoming the difficulties through the right efforts.

No pain, no gain is the strict law here. In the dictionaries alone we find success coming ahead of work!

As someone has nicely put –“The only thing that ever sits its way to success is a hen!!”

A wealthy businessman wanted to enrol his son in a famous university. But he was taken aback when he realized that it would take 4 years to get a degree, and that too with so many midterm tests, assignments, and exams in each of the eight semesters. Frowning, he flipped through the catalogue of the courses and asked the Dean, “Why does my son have to go through so many courses? Can’t you make the whole thing shorter? I want him to get out of it quickly.”

“Certainly he can take a shorter course,” replied the Dean politely. “It all depends on what he wants to make of himself. You see, it takes 20-30 years for an oak tree to grow, but a mushroom springs up overnight!”

Any great achievement takes its own sweet time and hard work. The ability to remain cheerful and optimistic despite all discouraging results is the greatest gift one can ever have.

Once, during a war, an army general was informed that the enemy troops have surrounded them from all directions. The general laughed aloud saying, “That’s very good news. Now we can attack them from any direction!”

Success is defined as, not in never falling, but the ability to get up and try again each time one falls!

Revealing the secret of his success, Bernard Shaw once said, “When I was young, I observed that 9 out of 10 things I did were failures. So I did10 times more work!”

Dreaming of success alone will not do; one has to wake up and work hard for it!

The glory of self-effort is such that even our destiny can be rewritten. Markandeya, who was destined to live only for sixteen years, became immortal when he held on to Shiva Linga, disobeying the order of Yamaraj to follow him. Such was his hold that Lord Shiva Himself had to intervene to protect his devotee, completely sidelining the destiny, represented by the Lord of Death.

Let us do our part – of putting forth the best of our efforts. The rest, let us allow Him to decide, as He alone knows what is ultimately good for us.

O   M         T   A   T         S   A   T

Posted in: Chintana

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