For success in any endeavour there are five contributing factors or what I call the pentagon of success.
The first factor is the field of action. This is something which we must examine from every possible angle before we take up any work. With a clear understanding of the field, there will be fewer obstructions and fewer surprises for us to cope with as we go along with the work. The second factor is the fitness of the agent, which concerns the natural abilities of the agent for a particular work. One should have the proper physical, emotional and intellectual requirements necessary for a particular occupation. Proper consideration should be given to the necessary equipment for the work undertaken. The agent’s ability and skill in handling his instruments and tools should also be considered.
The third factor that follows is regarding perfection and economy of effort. The energy expended in every action must be regulated and balanced by proper judgment. The fourth factor is regarding the things to be avoided. These number three: excessive expenditure of energy, misapplication of energy and laziness. If you wish your work to attain the highest degree of excellence every detail must be perfect.
The fifth and also the most important element is destiny. Some may call it fate or luck, but whatever we call it, it is an element over which we have no control. We have to recognize it and make allowances for it in all our plans.
We must learn to surrender our will and all our actions to a higher power, realising that, in spite of all our efforts, by ourselves we can do nothing about it. The attainment of so-called success brings vanity and conceit; it creates obstacles to our spiritual growth. But if we understand and recognize that there is an unseen and unknown influence working in our life and guiding our destiny, we shall learn to curb our pride and arrogance and we shall learn to give up all desire for the results of our work. In other words, by making our work a means to an end, by the practice of karma yoga, we shall learn to appreciate the spiritual value of work, and so move steadily forward toward the goal of perfection and Self-realisation.