Guiding Light: Believe and achieve

There was a man who had set out on a mission to go around the world on his bicycle. He came to meet my beloved Master, Sadhu Vaswani, and said to him, “I have been on the road for over a year now. And during this year, there have been occasions when my spirits have fallen very low. I have felt discouraged and frustrated. Give me a few simple words that I can inscribe on my ring so that whenever I feel depressed, I can look at the inscription and feel my spirits rising!”

Sadhu Vaswani thought for a brief while and then gave him these words: “Believe and achieve!”

These three words are one of the secrets of success– believe and achieve! Believe in yourself, believe in the work you have undertaken. Believe that you will succeed in your work. If you do not believe in yourself, how can you hope to succeed?

Believe in yourself– but which self?

We must remember, there are two selves within every man. There is a lower self– the ego-self, the empiric self, the self with which we are only too familiar in our day-to-day existence. It is the self of passion and pride, lust, hatred, greed, envy, jealousy, resentment, ill-will, selfishness and misery. Unfortunately, we have identified ourselves with this self.

This is why in the world today, we have wars and violence, hatred and strife. The lower self sits on the threshold of our consciousness, and easily captures us, misleads us, leads us astray. And yet, it is just a tiny self. When you enter into the depths of meditation, you will realise that it is but a tiny speck of a speck. Because we have identified ourselves with it, we magnify it beyond all proportions and allow it to dominate our life.

There is another self within each one of us– the larger self, the nobler self, the radiant self, the true self, the ‘Self Supreme’ in the words of the Bhagavad Gita. In the measure in which you identify yourself with the higher self, in that measure success will come to you like an overflowing, ever-full river.

(Dada J.P. Vaswani is humanitarian, philosopher, educator, acclaimed writer, powerful orator, messiah of ahimsa, and non-sectarian spiritual leader.)

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