Train Your Mind For Success

October 30, 2015

6 min read

Summary: To achieve success you must be able to harness the full capabilities of your body and mind towards your goal. But are you really able to make your mind function the way you want. Try a simple experiment by Sadhguru to test! If you are not able to conduct your mind the way you want, obviously you will not be able to make the life around you happen the way you want - the chances of success are remote. And even if you become successful by accident, you will always be anxious and fearful of losing it - because it did not happen out of your capability, so you are not sure if you can make it happen again. This is why "successful" people suffer!

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

Organizing The Mind For Success

Sadhguru: Your ability to do something in the world essentially depends on the extent to which you are capable of harnessing your body and mind towards your goal, and after that, harnessing the situation in which you exist. But the most fundamental things are that your body and mind function not only to the best of their ability, but the way you want them to. When I say “the way you want,” there are many ways to check it.

Let’s try a simple experiment. For the next 10 seconds, do not think of monkeys. Give it a try. Close your eyes and do not think of a monkey for the next 10 seconds…

Can you do it? Your mind is full of monkeys, isn’t it? Your mind is not doing what you want it to do. If you say, “I don’t want monkeys,” it will think only of monkeys. Have you noticed this? This is not just your problem. The whole world is suffering this. When they are in the office they want to go home. When they are at home they are thinking of the office.

Some time ago, I spent half-a-day with one of the English Premier League soccer clubs. They had reasonably good talent, but had not been doing well for the past few years. I spent half-a-day with them, just watching how they were practicing and playing. They were good, they knew how to play football, that was not the issue. But they were nervous, kicking the ball around, and every time it did not go where they wanted, I would hear four-letter words flying all over the place. And the next day, they were playing another team full of well-known stars who could turn the game around single-handedly! I made them sit down and told them some simple things about themselves for about an hour-and-a-half. They had not beaten the other team in four-and-a-half years, but the next day they won the game 1-0.

Accidental Success

The problem is just this: the mind is going into everything that it should not, but not doing what it should be doing. What happens in your mind should be one hundred percent the way you want it, but within yourself, how many moments of unpleasantness do you go through in 24 hours’ time? Irritation, anger, agitation, tension, fear, anxiety – all different types of unpleasantness. If you feel unpleasant five times a day, one way or the other, the residue spreads right through the day. This is not because something is wrong with your work or with people around you. It is essentially because your mind is refusing to take instructions from you.

Your mind is not doing what you say; you do whatever your mind says. That means you are a terrible manager.

If you cannot even conduct your mind the way you want it, the question of life happening the way you want is remote. You can only be successful by accident, not by intent.

When you are successful by accident, you live in fear. People have landed up in places just by accident, and they live in enormous anxiety all the time because they are successful by chance; they did not get there by their own dint. They somehow got there, so now they are fearful every day. But when you are successful by intent, you know you can do it. If the whole thing gets washed away tomorrow, you will rebuild it once again.

When you do anything accidentally, invariably, you will suffer the process. If you know how to drive your car well, it can be a joy. But if you don’t know how to drive and do it accidentally, it can be enormous suffering. Every process of life can become a huge suffering if you do it accidentally. People are successful by accident. That is why they are suffering their success. If you suffer your failure it is bad enough, but if you suffer your success, then your life is 100% tragedy.

Self-created Suffering

There is enormous suffering in so-called “successful” people. Why? Because they manage a big industry and huge corporations, but they do not know how to manage their own mind. That means their management is by accident, not by intent. Managing an industry or a corporation essentially means you have to manage ten thousand minds. If you do not know how to manage your own mind, how will you manage the outside situation?

If you are causing misery to yourself, obviously you do not know how to manage your mind. Nobody can cause suffering to you. People throw various kinds of situations at you, but it is always you who caused suffering to yourself. For example, if I call you an idiot, you would cause suffering to yourself. The word “idiot” does not cause suffering. If you did not know English and someone called you an idiot, you might think they were saying “good evening.” So, if you are causing suffering to yourself, the basic things within you are obviously out of control. They are not happening the way you wish them to happen.

Any instrument in your life is useful to you only if it takes instructions from you and is managed by you. Please see, the state of your mind is such that it says its own things, it does not listen to you. Your mind is not doing what you say; you do whatever your mind says. That means you are a terrible manager. If you are like this, you will only manage external situations by accident.

An Organized Mind

In yoga, a well-established mind is referred to as a Kalpavriksha. If you bring your mind to a certain level of organization, it in turn organizes the other three dimensions of your system – your body, emotion, and energies.

If you organize your mind in one direction, and in turn organize the whole system in that direction, anything you wish will happen.

Once these four dimensions are organized in one direction and kept unwavering for a certain period, anything you wish will happen. You don’t even have to lift your little finger. Without having to do any activity, you can manifest what you want.

The problem with your mind right now is that it changes its direction every moment. If you walk somewhere and keep changing your direction every two steps, the chances of reaching your destination are very remote unless it happens by accident. But if you organize your mind in one direction, and in turn organize the whole system in that direction, anything you wish will happen.


How To Become An Effective Leader?

June 2, 2018

4 min read

Summary: Who is a leader? What are the qualities needed to become an effective leader? Can one truly become an effective leader without self transformation? Narrating an incidence from World Economic Forum, Sadhguru tells us fundamental objective of all leaders and businesses. He tells us, that Integrity and Insight lay the foundation for one to become an effective leader.

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

Transformative Leadership

Sadhguru: If one has to become a leader, he has to transform himself into a larger possibility. What was essentially individual concern becomes a little larger concern in some sense. What is being looked forward to from a leader is that he should be able to see things that other people are not able to see. He need not be a super human being. He need not know everything. Most leaders do not know much, but they are able to see certain things that other people are missing and they are able to put people together for a certain common purpose. That makes them leaders.

Who you are – what your mind is, what your emotions are and how you are right now – will manifest in every action that you perform in the world. And once you are in the position of leadership, every thought and emotion that you generate, and every action that you perform has an impact on many people – maybe a few hundred people or a thousand people or millions of people, depending on what type of leadership you are in. When this is so, it is extremely important that one who wishes to be a leader, in some way, focuses upon how he is within himself too, not just about how he performs in the world.

Transforming Yourself First

And once you have moved to a position of responsibility that is having a huge impact on many lives, it would be irresponsible for a leader not to be constantly striving to transform himself first. Essentially leadership also means, either you are transforming people’s lives directly, or you are transforming situations which will in turn lead to transformation of life for other people. So transformation and leadership cannot be separated.

Our Common Aspiration

Whether you are leading a company, or a community, or a city or a country, leadership is the art of making people realize that somewhere, deep down, all our aspirations are the same.

The first time I was at the World Economic Forum, people looked at me very resentfully. They said, “What is a mystic doing at an economic conference?” I thought I should speak their own language, so I asked, “What do you do? What is your business?” This person said, “Well, I am working for the second largest computer manufacturer.” I said, “You are doing computers…” I pointed out someone who was in the automobile industry and I said, “He is making cars. Somebody there is making a safety pin. It does not matter whether you are making a computer, car, safety pin or spacecraft, what is the fundamental business?” He said, “What? My business is computer.”

I said, “Your business is not computer. The fundamental business is human wellbeing, isn’t it? You might have forgotten why you are making a computer. Essentially, you are manufacturing computers to make human life better. Somebody is manufacturing a safety pin to make human life better. The essential business is human wellbeing, and that is my business too, so that is why I am here.”

Integrity and Insight

What people expect from a leader is that, first of all, he is straight. People do not appreciate you manipulating them. You do not have to be brilliant or a genius or a super human to be a leader. You are straight – your integrity is always there – and you have some vision and insight into a few things. That makes you a leader.

When you are truly inclusive, you will naturally have an insight about everything. Then the right kind of people will naturally gather around you when they see a certain level of integrity in you, and things will happen, according to your capability, of course. You can never equate people’s capabilities. People come with different capabilities, which is fine, but the question is just this: are you able to use yourself to the fullest extent or no? If you yourself are an issue on a daily basis, you cannot handle issues on the outside. If you make yourself in such a way that you are not an issue anymore, now you can attend to the outside issues to the best of your capability, and your leadership will happen effortlessly, without being stressful to you, or to anyone for that matter. That is transformative leadership.


How Can I Do Everything Effortlessly?

May 28, 2018

3 min read

Summary: Effortlessness does not mean not putting effort into anything. Only if you know effort, you can know effortlessness. When you constantly give your hundred percent to everything, a point will come when you surpass all limits and reach total effortlessness. Sadhguru shares the story of Russian ballet dancer Nijinsky to elaborate on this. However, you can also achieve the same state, through a yogic posture, through the intensity of inactivity. And this can be sustained much longer.

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

From Effort to Effortlessness

Sadhguru: Logically, somebody who never put effort into anything should be the master of effortlessness. But it is not so. If you want to know effortlessness, you need to know effort. When you reach the peak of effort, you become effortless. Only a person who knows what it is to work understands rest. Paradoxically, those who are always resting know no rest; they only sink into dullness and lethargy. This is the way of life.

There is a story about the Russian ballet dancer Nijinsky. His entire life was dance. There were moments when he would leap to heights that seemed humanly impossible. Even if one’s muscles are at peak performance, there is still a limit to how high one can jump. But in some moments, he would seem to transcend even that limit. People often asked him, “How do you manage this?” He said, “There is no way I can ever do it. When Nijinsky is not there, only then it happens.” When someone is constantly giving a hundred percent, a point comes when one surpasses all limits and reaches total effortlessness. Effortlessness does not mean becoming a couch potato. It means transcending the need for physical action. You reach this only when you are able to stretch to your utmost and sustain the peak of effort.

A Taste of the Beyond

There are some people nowadays, who declare that they would like to opt for Zen as a spiritual path because they think it means doing nothing. In fact, Zen involves tremendous activity because it is not divorced from life in any way. For example, a Zen monk may take weeks to simply arrange pebbles in a Zen garden. In performing such activity, you reach a state of non-doing, where you transcend the experience of being a doer. It is in such states that you have a taste of the beyond. If you achieve such states through intense activity, as Nijinsky and many others have, those moments will always be cherished as magical.

Intensity Without Activity

But if you arrive at the same state through the intensity of inactivity, then it is a yogic posture, and it is a state that can be sustained longer. The very essence of dhyana or meditativeness is that you push yourself to the highest possible intensity where, after some time, there is no effort. Now, meditation will not be an act, but a natural consequence of the intensity that has been achieved. You can simply be. It is in these absolutely non-compulsive states of existence that the necessary atmosphere is set for the blossoming of an individual into a cosmic possibility.

If we, as societies and individuals, continue to allow every moment to pass by without setting the atmosphere for such a flowering, we have squandered a tremendous possibility. The only reason there is so much infantile talk about heaven and its pleasures is because the immensity of being human has not been explored. If your humanity overflows, divinity will follow and serve you. It has no other choice.


How To Concentrate?

September 14, 2017

2 min read

Summary: We are approaching it the 'wrong' way. Concentration is not an action, it is a consequence. So, Sadhguru says - "Do not try to concentrate and focus. It is not a pleasant experience. Just get involved". It is because we have become too goal oriented, we lose this perspective, it is like wanting to have a fruit without the tree!

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

Getting Distracted? Just Get Involved!

Q: Namaskaram Sadhguru. Every time I plan to do any work or start any work, I will be like, “Okay, I’m gonna do this, no distraction,” but somehow I get distracted by food, movies, or whatever reason it is. How to be focused all the time? You say, “Simply sit,” but I find it very hard.

Sadhguru: Simply sitting may not be in you right now. Do not try to concentrate and focus. It is not a pleasant experience. Just get involved. For example, when you are watching a movie, it is only a play of two-dimensional light and sound. Nothing so significant. But when you are really watching, it becomes larger than life. People love Rajinikanth more than they love their family. They have never seen the guy and he does not look like that, but he has become larger than life for them because of their involvement. All that happened was that they got involved. Because of this, though he is not a three-dimensional human being, he is just play of sound and light, people started loving him more than anything.

Something becomes fantastic not because it is. Everything is fantastic or nothing is fantastic in the universe. For instance, someone is looking at an atom. They spend their entire life looking at one silly atom. But because of their involvement, that single atom becomes so fantastic! So much life to see all around, but someone is looking through the microscope at one single atom, or a bacterium for that matter. Because of their involvement, bacteria become so fantastic.

Do not try to concentrate. Do not try to focus. If you bring involvement, something becomes fantastic in your experience. Then I do not have to tell you, “Be focused on it.” The problem is how to get you out of it. Unfortunately, the world has become goal-oriented. They want mangoes, but they do not like the tree. It does not work like that. If you get involved with the tree and nourish it, mangoes will fall on your head anyway. You do not have to say, “Mangoes, please come. Be sweet, be sweet, be sweet.” If you nourish the tree, mangoes will fall and they will be sweet. Similarly, focus and concentration are consequences of involvement. But people are trying to have the fruit without the tree, and it is freaking the hell out them. Trying to concentrate on something with which they are not involved is just killing people.


I Face a Lot of Friction – What to Do?

May 6, 2019

3 min read

Summary: Most people - when something fails - point fingers at others. If they don't find anyone to blame, they blame god, or even look for metaphysical reasons! It's important to understand, that if something is not working, it means it's not done well. If you are facing friction everywhere, obviously it means something is not right with you. You are the sandpaper! Sadhguru provides a simple ways to reduce friction in your life. And, of course if you meet 'sandpapers', you need some tact to handle them. This is a social skill which you need to develop!

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

How to Deal with Friction in Life?

Questioner: Whatever I do, I face a lot of friction. What to do about that?

Sadhguru: I see this happening every day, to a large percentage of people. Let’s say some task has to be done. If it does not happen, the initial instinct in most people is to think it is because of some other person that it did not happen. They tend to point fingers at others. A whole lot of people look for some metaphysical reason as to why something did not happen. They are even blaming me, “Sadhguru, your Grace is not working.” From day one of the Inner Engineering program, or even from the free introductory talk, we have been trying to nail this one thing into your head: If something is not working, obviously it is not done well.

Inner Engineering means just this: that you can sit here without any friction. If you can sit here without any friction, outside friction will also go down.

Maybe you are not able to figure it right now, but if something did not work the way it should, obviously something was not done right. But people look for metaphysical solutions. For a whole lot of people, this is what mysticism means: they complicate simple things in their lives and think that is mystical. No, mysticism means to make the most mystical things – things that you cannot perceive through your five senses or your fundamental logic – available in a reasonably logical way. To make simple things unavailable and metaphysical is not mysticism of any kind.

If in everything you try to do, friction is happening, obviously, you are the sandpaper. We could provide you a small piece of sandpaper. Every day, whenever you face friction with someone, scrape your skin. If you do not cure yourself quickly, you will not have any skin left. When you do not have any skin left, you will not look for any friction. You will walk gently. If you want that kind of treatment, we could do that. Otherwise, come to your senses. If wherever you go, friction is happening, obviously it is you.

One simple thing you can do to reduce friction is this: Whatever the number of words you are uttering in a day, an hour, or a minute – bring it down to fifty percent. A whole lot of friction will go down, simply because you are not blabbering. And whatever you see, whether you see a man, woman, child, cow, or donkey, you bow down. Friction will not happen that way. Bring this into you, not just symbolically ­­–­ genuinely learn to bow down to a donkey.

There are two kinds of frictions: one is within ourselves. Outside friction is just an expression and a consequence. Inner Engineering means just this: that you can sit here without any friction. If you can sit here without any friction, outside friction will also go down. Still, when you meet a sandpaper, there will be some friction. So generally, we avoid sandpaper if we can, but sometimes we have to work with them. When you have to work with sandpaper, you need tact. This is something you have to learn.

Some people are very tactful when they meet sandpapers. They are so smooth that no matter how rough the other person is, these people will get their job done and leave. Working with sandpaper takes a little bit of skill and experience. There is nothing spiritual about it – it is a social skill. When the porcupine has its quills up, you must keep away a bit. When the quills are down, you can talk to it. It does not have the strength to keep the quills up all the time.

Otherwise, you must understand, your friction is just you.


How Can I Develop Positive Thinking?

December 31, 2018

4 min read

Summary: "Positive Thinking" has become very popular in the world today. When you are trying to think in a certain way, is it not distorting reality? Sadhguru says, that to ignore one aspect of life, and live only with the other is not a wise way to exist. In this article, Sadhguru also looks into the dual nature of the physical existence. So, instead one should be focused on making a positive result out of whatever comes your way. Positive thinking has destroyed many possibilities for people - Sadhguru shares a humorous poem to highlight this aspect.

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

Are You A Fan of Positive Thinking? Then Think Again

Sadhguru: Too many people in the world are always talking about “positive thinking.” When you say positive thinking, in a way you are trying to escape reality. You only want to look at one side of life while missing out the other. You may ignore the other, but the other will not ignore you. If you do not think about the negative things in the world, you will live in a fool’s paradise and life will get you for it. Right now, suppose black clouds are hanging in the sky. You can ignore them, but they are not going to ignore you. When it rains, it rains. When you get drenched, you get drenched.

What you try to avoid will always be the strongest point in you. Anyone who tries to eliminate one aspect of life and live with the other will only bring misery upon himself.

You can ignore it and just think everything is going to be okay – it has some psychological and social relevance but no existential relevance. It will only be solace. You try to solace yourself by moving from reality to unreality because somewhere, you believe that you can’t handle reality. And you probably can’t so you succumb to positive thinking. You want to skip the negative and just think positive. Or in other words, you try to avoid the negative.

Whatever you try to avoid becomes the very basis of your consciousness. What you pursue will not be the strongest point in you. What you try to avoid will always be the strongest point in you. Anyone who tries to eliminate one aspect of life and live with the other will only bring misery upon himself.

Dual Nature

The whole existence is happening between two dualities. What you refer to as positive and negative is: masculine and feminine, light and darkness, day and night. Without this, how will life happen? It is like saying you don’t want death, you want only life – there is no such thing. Only because there is death there is life. Only because there is darkness there is light. It is just that you don’t allow the negative to overwhelm you. Let both of them be there and see how to make both of them productive.

You don’t have to resist the positive or the negative, you just have to make a positive result out of it, which is just a question of your capability.

If you look at life just the way it is, it is positive and negative in equal terms, always. If you look at it as it is, neither the negative nor the positive can overwhelm you. Only because they are equal, everything is happening the way it is happening. You have to harness both and produce what you can.

A light turns on because there is positive and negative in electricity. A positive result is happening so we don’t mind the negative. If there is a man and a woman, if joy is coming out of them, we don’t mind the man or the woman. Suppose they started creating a lot of negative result, now we think they are a problem. It is not the positive and negative which is the problem, it is the end result that you produce.

You don’t have to resist the positive or the negative, you just have to make a positive result out of it, which is just a question of your capability. If we are concerned about this life, it is very important that we are truthful about where we really are. Only then can we make a journey. Positive thinking has destroyed many possibilities for people. Positive thinking is like this – there’s a poem written by a positive thinker:

A little bird did fly in the sky.

Shit it did in my eye.

But I can neither worry nor cry,

Because I’m a positive thinker.

I thank God and pray that buffaloes don’t fly.

If you are not willing to see life the way it is, there is no way to take a step about it. You can’t do anything about it. You can only do funny things mentally, which can keep you entertained for a while but will never take you anywhere.


How Can I Overcome Self Doubt?

September 12, 2018

3 min read

Summary: Contrary to the populist 'believe in yourself', Sadhguru tells us that it is good to doubt yourself. Doubt will bring sense into you - for you to see whether you are causing what is happening around you. If your psychological growth is one step ahead of your physiological growth - then you will not have growth pangs. Right now, people are living as if every stage of life is a problem! Life should not be a problem, it is just a certain process - its about preparing oneself to manage that process.

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

Dealing With Self-doubt and Growth Pangs

Regina Cassandra: While growing up, there were a lot of questions in my head in terms of myself, my capabilities and my abilities. Self-doubt is definitely an issue that I and a lot of kids have to face and overcome. How does one overcome self-doubt, especially as a youngster?

Sadhguru: Namaskaram, Regina! It’s good to doubt yourself. I know everyone says, “Believe in yourself!” I would say, “Please doubt yourself.” If something goes right or wrong, first always look, maybe it’s you who caused this. If it’s not, then look at others. The so-called confident idiots are stepping on everyone and walking. Doubt will bring sense into you. You’ll walk gently on the planet.

Growth Pangs!

And when we say growing up, there are many dimensions to a human being – there are physiological, psychological, emotional and other dimensions of growth. Most of the time, we measure growth physiologically, and the next possibility is psychologically. We only discover the other dimensions when life situations challenge us. Our level of emotional and energetic growth, as well as our growth as a being, are only revealed to most of us when life throws very challenging situations at us. Most human beings will be surprised at their own reactions to life situations.

If people are having growth pangs, it is mainly because their psychological growth is not at least one step ahead of their physiological growth.

With regards to physiological and psychological growth, the body is a very tangible element, so it grows at a certain pace. But the psychological dimension of who you are is not such a tangible process. It is more flexible, mobile and nebulous. So it should be able to grow well ahead of your physiological process. If people are having growth pangs, it is mainly because their psychological growth is not at least one step ahead of their physiological growth.

Though the same things have happened to billions of people on this planet forever, it still looks like they are happening for the first time in the universe. People are surprised and shocked. This is just because their psychological growth is behind their physiological growth.

It is very important in a society that we create a situation where every child is psychologically at least one step ahead of their physiological growth.

It is very important in a society that we create a situation where every child is psychologically at least one step ahead of their physiological growth. If you do this one thing in your life, you will see, whether it is adolescence or middle age or old age, you will not be surprised by anything – you know how to deal with it and handle it. There will be no shocks and upheavals in your life because of simple processes.

Life is not a problem. Life is a certain process. The question is, have you prepared yourself for the process or not?

Right now, people are living in such a way that toddlers are having diaper problems, teenagers are having hormonal issues, middle-aged people are having mid-life crisis, and in old age, people are of course suffering. Tell me one dimension of life which people are not seeing as a problem! Life is not a problem. Life is a certain process. The question is, have you prepared yourself for the process or not?


How Do I Overcome Fear Of Failure?

July 23, 2015

4 min read

Summary: There is no such thing as failure! It's just your idea. The external influences have trained you to think of life in terms of success and failures. Success and failure should not be contingent on what recognition you get in the world. Your success is determined by how joyfully you lead your life, regardless of what situation you are in. Whatever situation comes your way, you can use it as a stepping stone, and use it make yourself stronger and better. Sadhguru narrates a beautiful tale of a farmer and Shiva to illustrate this.

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

The Idea of Success & Failure

Sadhguru: There is no such thing as failure. Failure is an idea because success is also a stupid idea. Instead of trying to change the world, change the idea. If you just change that, everything is great. If you were a beggar on the street, today, if you could walk into the restaurant and eat a dosa, this would be the height of success, isn’t it?

For one who is seeing this life as a stepping stone for a larger possibility, there is no failure.

Every idea, thought, emotion or value that you have is picked up from somewhere and it rules you from within. This idea of success is not even your idea. It is somebody else’s idea of what success is. Your religion, your society and your culture have trained you to believe that this is it. Don’t become a slave to somebody’s idea; that is the first and foremost success. Success and failure is not in the volumes of money flowing into your life. Success and failure is not dependent upon the recognition that you find in the world. You are successful with life if you know how to walk with joy even through hell.

A Stepping Stone

For one who is looking at the simple events of this life itself as the goal of life, for him there is failure and success. For one who is seeing this life as a stepping stone for a larger possibility, there is no failure. Whether you have a good deal or a bad deal, whatever the situation is, it’s very useful – you use that for your wellbeing.

Once, there was a farmer who was tired of various natural factors ruling the quality of his crop. So, one day he called Shiva and said, “I am tired of all the natural nonsense happening. Obviously you are not a farmer. I know from history that you were a hunter. You don’t know what it means to farm so why don’t you leave nature in my hands? I am a farmer. I know when it should rain, I know when there should be sunlight, I know everything. You don’t know because you are just a hunter and a crazy ascetic. You are definitely not a good farmer. Everything is happening at the wrong times. You leave it to me.”

Whether you have a good deal or a bad deal, whatever the situation is, it’s very useful – you use that for your wellbeing.

Shiva was in one of those moods, so he said, “Okay, nature is in your hands.” Then the farmer planned his crop. So he calls out “Rain!” And it rains. He pokes the land with his finger and sees, “Okay it’s soaked up to six inches,” “Stop!” Then he ploughed his field and planted maize seeds and waited for two days, “Rain!” then “Sunlight!” One day he was working in the field so, “Cloud!” Everything just happened the way he wanted, and a beautiful maize crop came. He was overjoyed.

When it was time for the harvest, he wanted to see that no birds come. He was surprised about that because when he said, “No birds!” – no birds came. He went down to his fields to harvest the maize but when he looked at the crop, there was no grain on the plants. Then he thought “What the hell is this? What did I do wrong?” He couldn’t figure it out because he had managed everything – rain, water and sunshine – properly.

He went back to Shiva and asked, “I did everything right but there is no grain. Did you sabotage my crop?” Shiva said, “I have been watching; you were in-charge so I didn’t want to interfere. The rain was great, the sunshine was great, everything was fine but you stopped all the winds. I used to always send fierce winds which would threaten your crop but because the plants felt pushed and threatened, they put their roots deeper into the earth and so grain happened. Now you have a great maize crop but no maize.”

The Only Goal

As the maize crop used the winds to strengthen themselves, various situations in your life can either be used to make yourself stronger and better or you can sit and cry. This is the choice you have. Everything, it doesn’t matter what happens, even the most horrific event in your life can also be used for your growth and your wellbeing. The small events of your life – your business, your marriage, your children – all these things are just a stepping stone. This is not new to you because in Indian culture they put this into people for millennia. They said, “Your life is about mukti. Your marriage, your business, your social life, these are all just the means to get there. Either you go with it or you go without it but whether you are a sanyasi or you are in samsara, your only goal is mukti.”


What Qualities Do I Need If I Want To Begin My Career Afresh?

January 1, 2019

7 min read

Summary: One can not go with ready made points - it depends on the situation. But most important thing is, if you want to take a rebirth, then you must be willing to die - so are you willing and capable of dropping what you are right now? Sadhguru says, before you jump, be very clear, because once you jump, there should be no looking back. Instead of trying to do the best thing, you should strive to harness your full capabilities. And, since this is a rebirth - you should look at everything afresh.

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

Reboot Your Career This Year: The Qualities You’ll Need

#1 Before you leap, look!

Once we have chosen to be reborn – to dissolve something and create something fresh – many possibilities will be open. Many possibilities always means trouble. To be able to identify which one of these possibilities you should go with is a certain exercise. The problem is people jump into something and then exercise their mind – no. Before you jump into something, it needs to be looked at with enough attention because once you jump into something, there should be no looking back. If you are constantly looking at the rearview mirror, you are not going to go forward.

#2 Enhance your perception – See life the way it is

If you are talking about a business, to drop something that has failed is easy and inevitable. It will anyway happen. But to drop something that is successful and recreate something else out of that needs vision, courage and a certain level of madness in you. It is a completely different level of looking at life. You must be able to see something that others don’t see.

What you need to look at is whether you are capable of dropping what you are right now – either as an individual or as an organization. And whether you want to “die entirely” and start afresh or you want to “die partially” and recreate it is a judgment one has to make on the spot, knowing the realities of the situation.

If you are born afresh, that means you have no conclusions about anything. You are willing to look at everything like you are just born. If you do this, you will walk through life untouched. Even a little child starts thinking he knows within a few days. Once you think you know, you start fumbling and bumbling. If, every moment of your life, you look at everything like you were just born, you will see everything crystal clear. When you see things clear, you walk through situations comfortably.

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.

It happened once, Sherlock Holmes and Watson went camping in the mountains. Night fell and they went to sleep. In the middle of the night, Sherlock Holmes nudged Watson and Watson opened his eyes.

Sherlock Holmes asked him, “What do you see?”

Watson, lying down looked up and said, “I see clear sky and stars, lots of stars.”

Sherlock Holmes asked, “What does that mean to you?”

Watson answered, “That means another nice, sunny day tomorrow. What does it mean to you?”

Sherlock Holmes said, “It means to me my dear Watson, that someone has stolen our tent.”

You can successfully walk through every aspect of your life only if you see life the way it is. If you want to do anything successfully, it is not your qualification that counts, it is the clarity of your perception. Fundamentally, how successful you are simply depends upon the clarity of your perception of the realities around you.

#3 Your ability to pay attention is key

The process of life is very simple. To be born is not your work. Someone else does it for you. If you eat, physically you will grow up. Mentally, there are processes around you to cultivate you in this direction or that direction, but if one does not get entangled with anything, if he just looks at life, everything is wide open. Nothing is hidden really. The phrase “mysteries of life” is a total misnomer because there is no such thing. It is all wide open. It is just that people are going around with eyes closed so it is all a mystery.

If a human being has to break through their limitations, the most important quality is steadiness of attention. Your ability to manage anything is directly proportional to the level of attention and observation that you have.

I was talking to a group of Harvard alumni who are all extremely successful and they were saying, “You know, when we were in college, those guys that we thought would really make it big, did not make it. Those of us who were confused, who did not know what to do with our lives when we came out, we struggled around, and it is we who made it big. They did not make it big.”

So I asked, “What happened?” They were discussing this and the essential thing is just this – these so-called smart ones were just picked up by major companies, they got a very comfortable job and a big salary, they settled into it, and they stayed there. These people who did not know what to do, they went out, looked around at everything, some of them came up with their own brilliant ideas and started their own companies, or they went up the hard way. Because things were not certain, they had to pay attention to everything; they observed the whole world. These people went a hundred-fold more than those smart people who settled and stayed in their nice, cushy jobs.

Your ability to pay attention is the key to how deep you can go into something – whatever that something is. How profound your attention is, is how deep you will sink into it and how much access you get into it. Human consciousness is such, if you pay enough attention, the whole existence has to yield, there is no other way.

#4 Put your life into whatever you do

Whatever the path you jump onto is not the best thing to do. You can never do the best thing in the world. Whatever you jump into, if you really put your life into it, it can become a great thing. Do not ever try to do the best thing because if you try to do the best thing, you will waste your life trying to be better than someone else.

That is not a good way to go because for all you know the person you compare yourself with may be lame, and you think you are a champion because you run a little faster than him. Whether you are better or worse than someone should not even be a thought in your mind. The only thing to look at is that full utilization of who you are should happen. Whatever you have, are you able to harness it fully? This is what yoga means. Your physicality, psychological realities and the inner energies – are you able to harness these the way you want?

#5 Take charge of your inner situation

Either you allow your destiny to be an accident or you allow your destiny to be your intent, that is a choice you have. Either you allow the situations to make you something or you make the situations the way you want them.

You might be thinking, “Yes, I would like to make my family situation the way I want it but other people are not cooperating with me.” But first, start with your own internal situation. You are not even creating your inner situation the way you want it. So how do you think you will create the external situation the way you want it? With the external situation, there are a hundred different ingredients and forces functioning – it is not all in your hands. But in the internal situation, you are the only ingredient. It is very important that first you learn to create your internal situations the way you want. Then your ability to create the external can be greatly enhanced.

The problem with most people is their own thoughts and emotions are a huge issue. When you yourself are an issue, how will you deal with other issues? Your psychological drama is taking such a big toll. People are capable of suffering what happened ten years ago. They are capable of already suffering what is going to happen day after tomorrow. They think they are suffering their past and future, but they are only suffering two faculties that are exclusive to human beings on this planet – memory and imagination.

Most people do not know how to handle their memory and imagination. Does what happened yesterday or ten years ago exist right now? No. Does what may happen day after tomorrow exist right now? No. So, in other words, you are suffering that which does not exist. That is called insanity. People say, “This is human nature.” This is not human nature. This is the nature of people who have not taken charge of human nature.

The human mechanism is the most complex piece of machinery on the planet. This is a “super-supercomputer.” But have you read the user’s manual? Yoga means learning to read the user’s manual.


Sadhguru Tips To Be Successful

November 17, 2015

5 min read

Summary: Sadhguru shares some simple tips to achieve success. #1 Forget luck, live by intent. #2 Stop fixating on failure. #3 Work with clarity. #4 Embrace the people and things that you dislike. #5 Drop your calculations. #6 Be equanimous and exuberant. #7 Tune up your insight. #8 Find your inspiration. #9 Set the gold standard in integrity.

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

9 Tips That Can Be Your Success Mantras

#1 Forget Luck, Live by Intent

Sadhguru: A few things may happen by chance. But if you wait for the chance, good things will happen to you only when you are in your grave because things may take their time. Even quantum theory says that if you try, you can actually walk through a wall once in a “zillion” times because there is a pulsation of particles happening and you may walk through. It is just that before you reach that one zillionth time, you’ll have a cracked skull. When you live by chance, you also live in fear and anxiety. When you live by intent and capability, it does not matter what is happening or not happening, at least you are in control of what is happening to you. It is a more stable life.

#2 Stop Fixating on Failure

Sadhguru: For a committed man, there is no such thing as failure. If you fall down 100 times in the day, it is 100 lessons learnt. If you commit yourself like this to creating what you really care for, your mind gets organized. Once your mind gets organized, your emotions will get organized because the way you think is the way you feel. Once your thought and emotion are organized, your energies and your very body will get organized. Once all these four are organized in one direction, your ability to create and manifest what you want is phenomenal. You are the creator in many ways.

#3 Work with Clarity

Sadhguru: What a human being needs is clarity, not confidence. If you want to walk through a crowd of people, if your vision is clear and you can see where everybody is, you can just walk through the whole crowd without touching anyone. If your vision is not clear but you have confidence, you will walk over everybody. Because there is no clarity, people think that confidence is a good substitute. It just cannot be. Let’s say you make all the major decisions in your life like this: get yourself a coin, flip it. If it’s heads, it’s one way, tails the other. It works 50% of the time. If you are right only 50% of the time, there are only two professions that you can keep – either a weather man or an astrologer. You cannot keep any other job on this planet.

#4 Embrace the People and Things You Dislike

Sadhguru: To handle different kinds of situations in our lives, we need different kinds of identities. If you are fluid about it, if you can change from one to another gracefully, then you can play your role to the hilt and still have no problem with it. But for most people, their personality is like a rock. It sits on them all the time and makes them suffer anything that does not fit into its ambit.

If you have to break that, you have to do something in reverse. This is a simple thing you can do: team up with somebody that you do not like. Spend time with that person, very lovingly, joyfully. Learn to do things that you do not like, be with people that you do not like, and still live your life sensibly, lovingly and joyfully.

#5 Drop Your Calculations

Sadhguru: There is no need to aspire to greatness. If you make the focus and ambit of your life well beyond the concerns of who you are, you will anyway be a great human being. If you look at certain people, greatness happened to them not because they were seeking to be great, but because their way of looking at life was way beyond “what about me?”

If you just drop this one calculation, “What about me?” from your head, and function to the best of your ability, in some way you will be great because you will naturally be looking at, “What can I do about all the life around me?” So, you will naturally enhance your capabilities because there is so much to do!

#6 Be Equanimous and Exuberant

Sadhguru: To be successful in the world, what you fundamentally need is prowess of the mind and the body. If you want to harness the mind, one of the most important qualities is equanimity. Equanimity gives you access to different dimensions of the mind. If there is no equanimity, your ability to use the mind is greatly reduced. Another important quality is on the level of your energy – you need exuberance, both physiologically and internally. Only when your energies are exuberant do you have the ability to tide over obstacles in day-to-day life and move towards your success. If equanimity and exuberance are brought into your mind and body, success will come to you much more easily.

#7 Tune Up Your Insight

Sadhguru: Insight means you pay attention to life around you in such a way that you are able to see things that most people cannot see. If there is no insight, there is nothing to follow and toil for. Mediocrity can be transformed into extraordinary activity, only when there is a deep insight into something.

#8 Find Your Inspiration

Sadhguru: Another important dimension is to constantly be inspired. Look at the reason why you are doing what you are doing and see the larger dimension of it, the contribution you make through every little thing you do in your life. Every action that human beings perform is a contribution to some dimension of this world. Whatever you may be doing, someone could be benefitted by it. Being conscious of your contribution will keep you inspired.

#9 Set the Gold Standard in Integrity

Sadhguru: Integrity is important because when you want to function in the world, how much trust you generate with the people you interact with determines how easy or hard your daily efforts will be. If there is an atmosphere of trust, your ability to work will be greatly enhanced – simply because everyone will pave the way for you rather than setting up impediments.


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