Let satisfaction be the basis of success, not success the basis of satisfaction
We all want success and we all want satisfaction. Unfortunately, these two sometimes seem mutually exclusive. The more we struggle for success, the more we become dissatisfied if we don’t get it, which, unfortunately, is quite possible in a world of cut-throat competition.
Far worse is if we get success and still feel dissatisfied. That happens when we have unwittingly chosen a definition of success that is alien to us, a definition that the social mirror has imposed on us.
To avoid such dissatisfaction, we need to make satisfaction the basis of our efforts, not success. This means that we observe ourselves during the course of our life and note the activities we are internally comfortable at and externally competent doing. When we engage ourselves in such an activity, we feel satisfied irrespective of whether we get success or not because working according to our nature is in itself fulfilling. The Bhagavad-gita (03.35) urges us to stick to work according to our nature without becoming allured by other kinds of work.
Distancing ourselves from social definitions of success becomes much easier when we have spiritual self-understanding. Thereby, we find inner security in knowing our indestructible identity as parts of God and knowing that he accepts us as we are. By learning to offer our love to him through both bhakti-yoga practice and our work, we get spiritual contentment that decreases our dependence on social approval. When our mental energies are no longer dissipated in worrying about the world’s opinions, we can better focus on our work.
Thus, we increase the likelihood of our making a noteworthy, even praiseworthy contribution – all the more so when we work in an area that we feel good about and are good at, and work in a mood of devotional contribution.
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