The Hidden Treasure

Where Ancient Wisdom Meets Contemporary Psychology

The True Measure of Success

Written By: Vic Rebman Ph.D - Mar• 19•15
Contemplation #11

It is better to perform one’s own duties imperfectly than to master the duties of another.

By fulfilling the obligations he is born with, a person never comes to grief.”

The Bhagavad-Gita

Here in the U.S. we have an extremely bad habit of defining success by the amount of money, power, and status one has achieved. To survive as a culture will require growth beyond this limited, naïve, and quite ignorant state of consciousness. None of us, realistically, will see such a cultural transformation in our lifetime. We can, however, create such a transformation within ourselves, which is ultimately how cultures evolve and transform.

In the ancient teachings of the Gita, dating back over 5000 years, we are encouraged to recognize that genuine success is dependent not on what we have, or the status we’ve achieved, but rather in our ability to know ourselves and live out the “duties” we were divinely given to embrace and complete. This was the wisdom modeled by Jesus in the garden when he prayed saying, “Oh my father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.” (Matthew 26:42)  He knew his eternal peace and security depended upon completing the “duties” he was divinely assigned.

Like Jesus, we are all assigned a divine task to complete in our lifetime. Discovering that task and completing it is the ultimate definition of “success.” The Buddha wrote,

“Your work is to discover your work, and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.”

So how does one discover their divine mission? How does one come to know what they are called to complete in this lifetime? The answer  is clearly given to us in the fifth verse of the Tao:

“Man was made to sit quietly and find the truth within.”

It is in the silence of a quiet mind that one’s Dharma (truth) is revealed. You cannot figure it out using the rational mind; you must allow it to come into consciousness from the deepest center of your heart space. Through a daily discipline of quiet mind meditation, one’s life mission is revealed.

We are told that Jesus regularly withdrew into silent meditation so that he could clearly discern his divine Dharma. True success has nothing to do with wealth, status, or possessions. True success is the discovery and completion of one’s personal Dharma (divine mission):

“It is better to strive in one’s own Dharma than to succeed in the Dharma of another.

Nothing is ever lost in following one’s own Dharma.

But completion in another’s Dharma breeds fear and insecurity.”

The Bhagavad-Gita

mind paths

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