Guiding Light: Choices

-- Swami Brahmavidananda Saraswati

Very often people not being able to move forward in their lives put the blame on family history, personal history, and lack of talents, situations and circumstances. Though all of these have a role to play in your life, you are not defined only by your talents or your history. The choices that you make, make you what you are. There may be people of talent but if they choose not to use the talent and focus elsewhere, then the talent is wasted.

Someone with a lesser talent, who chooses to work hard and struggle, definitely achieves more. History is full of examples where people with limited talents were ready to choose and do what it takes. They achieved far greater things than people of great talent who were afraid to make choices and accept their consequences. To make a choice also means to decide a course of action and accept the consequences of that action. Life rewards action, not your talents or your heritage.

It is accepted that in the arts like singing etc some talent is a blessing. Fate may also play a part. But if you are willing to make a choice, every moment of your life that is guided by Dharma, universal ethics then minimum, you become a person of character. You become a person who is willing to do what it takes, a person to reckon with, in society.

At the end of the day, what matters is what you have become not what you have achieved. And who knows, the success you seek may well be within your grasp. We are not guaranteeing success here. But we are definitely saying that you are going to grow into a person of character, as someone more likely to succeed than someone who is not making those choices.

Those of us who are below 35 years will remember the words of a great philosopher who said – "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." The philosopher I am referring to is Professor Dumbledore from Harry Potter.

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