Success is not just in achieving some goal but also in every step that leads to it.
Mullah Nasruddin is a satirical Sufi figure whose name is used in numerous stories to add a touch of wit and humor. His funny anecdotes make people burst into fits of laughter.
Different people, same goals – Success, Happiness. What is a measure of success? Money, power, fame, or a happy family, everlasting smile and contentment?
Preferences may vary but what remains common and finds room in everybody’s heart is the desire to be successful in life. Again, the definition of success may vary but what doesn’t is the fact that every person on this planet wants to be happy. So if we all want to be happy and successful, why not work on both together?
Earning more money when we are young is like tasting one flavor of success. Now let us taste a few other flavors too – a smile that does not fade, the joy in spreading happiness, enjoyment in every little thing along the way to achieving our goal, and contentment in what we have. Meditation helps us relish all these different flavors. Let’s see how.
#1 Smile that comes free of cost!
Mullah and his wife (smiling from head to toe) walk out of the jewelry store after purchasing a diamond necklace. On his way, Mullah sees a poor man offering a rose to his wife.
Mullah to his wife: “Look at him, what a successful man he is! I wish I could have his luck!” Wife: Huh? Mullah: Just see, his wife's smile is much cheaper!
Mullah’s wife angrily throws the necklace on the road and walks away.
Make your smile cheaper and anger expensive. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says, “The first sign of success is an unshakeable smile”. Money could buy all the riches in the world, while a smile comes literally free of cost. And yet, we use it so sparingly.
Meditate and see yourself smiling more and more. Regular practice helps release the negative emotions we carry within us – anger, frustration, stress, and it also gives us the ability to smile through all odds in life which is a sure sign of success.
Tip: When you feel low or stressed out, just sit with your eyes closed and meditate for a while. You may open your eyes to witness a new smiling you!
#2 Joy in sharing a bite from your plate
Mullah wins 4-1 in a football match with his six-year-old son while his neighbor watches on.
Neighbor to Mullah’s son: So your father won again! Son: Actually, I just wanted dad to be happy.
Winning and losing are a part of life's game. What is important is how happy we are and how much happiness we spread to others. That is also a sign of true success. Try this for yourself! How does it feel to share a bite from your plate with a poor kid on the street? Or donate an amount from your salary to charity?
This feeling of service, of compassion for the needy and of being useful to someone comes easy when we meditate. Meditation fills us with such joy, contentment and gratitude from within that we feel like a king and are ready to share what we have.
Tip: Take 20 minutes out every day with your friends and meditate together. It will help create positive energy around you. Also, when more people think alike and work in a common direction (serving the society and bringing a change), its benefits are for everybody to enjoy.
#3 Victories that are all along the way
Mullah and his friend decide to race a mountain peak. They meet an old friend at a tea shop who challenges them for a tea-drinking competition. Mullah stops over but his friend carries on. Mullah tries to catch up when he again stops to play football with some kids, scores his goals, and once more to haggle with a flower-seller for fresh roses at a lesser price. He reaches just in time for the sunset to find his friend already there.
Friend (with a beaming smile): So Mullah, I won! I reached first! Mullah: So what? I won thrice in the same time!
Happiness is not just in achieving some goal but also in every step that leads to it. When we enjoy every moment of life’s journey to our heart’s content, that is the sign of true success. Instead of thinking, “If I buy a big house or get a good job, only then I will be successful”, shift your thought process to “I am happy and successful now in whatever I do or have”.
You can bring about this shift in you with daily meditation. You start enjoying every moment of life to the fullest.
Tip: Meditation does not necessarily happen only on a mountain peak or a cave. You can meditate in the comfort of your home, on your work desk, in a nature setting, anywhere!
#4 Feeling of deep gratitude
Mullah finds a hidden treasure in his backyard. It was one of the 15 pots of gold that the late king had hidden.
Neighbour: You are the richest and the most successful man in our village! Why do you still look so sullen? Mullah: What will happen if someone else finds the other 14?
This is the way our mind works. It can hardly stay contented with what is achieved. It craves for more and more. One desire fulfilled and the next is ready in queue. Have you noticed that this chain of countless desires is what makes us restless and anxious?
Relax! Keep your mind happy by meditating everyday. Meditation can help you achieve such deep contentment from within that you start feeling grateful for what you have in life and desires get fulfilled even before they arise!
Tip: Whenever you close your eyes and fold your hands in prayer during the day, meditate for a few minutes soon after. Experience the feeling for yourself!
Inspired by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's wisdom talks
By Pritika Nair
Based on inputs by Bharathy Harish, Sahaj Samadhi Meditation Teacher