The mind stops us not just from achieving our dreams, but also from pursuing them
People on the deathbed often have many regrets. The greatest of such regrets center on, “If only I had done this …”.
We all dream of doing something wonderful or at least worthwhile in their lives. But very few of us even start pursuing such dreams, leave alone achieving them. Why? Because our mind discourages us. One common way the mind discourages is by demanding certainty of success: “What if I don’t succeed? All my hard work will go waste. Why waste my energy?”
However, we live in a world of uncertainty. We can’t have certainty of success or even of survival – we may not be alive tomorrow. By demanding certainty of success as a precondition for any endeavor, the mind sentences us to the certainty of failure: if nothing is sought, nothing is got.
Our mind is, of course, a champion at dreaming – it’s like a child with an overactive imagination. However, when it comes to working for actualizing any dream, it exhibits another childish trait: restlessness (Bhagavad-gita 06.34). It keeps flitting over a hundred things, committing to hardly anything and achieving nothing.
How can we prevent the mind from sabotaging our dreams? By raising our vision above the uncertain material level to the unchanging spiritual level. Gita wisdom explains that we are souls, parts of the supreme spiritual being, Krishna. He has gifted all of us certain potentials. If we connect with him by practicing bhakti-yoga, we start tuning in to his empowering voice, thereby transcending and silencing the mind’s discouraging voice. Being guided by him, we start manifesting our potentials in a mood of contribution.
When we thus live for Krishna, he enriches our hearts with his divine presence. Being thus enriched, we can better fulfill our dreams. And even if we can’t fulfill some specific dreams, we will still be fulfilled.
Think it over:
- How does the mind sentence us to failure?
- How can we transcend the mind’s discouraging voice?
- Even when our dreams aren’t fulfilled, how can we be fulfilled?
06.34 The mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong, O Krishna, and to subdue it, I think, is more difficult than controlling the wind.
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