Indian religious tradition teaches that human beings, generally speaking, can have
two commendable aspirations. One is called in worldly prosperity and well-being. The other is called spiritual illumination and freedom. Of these both righteousness is said to be the basis. Prosperity that has not dharma as the basis crumbles down sooner than feared due to internal hemorrhage so to say. Of course, spiritual illumination one cannot even think of except through being righteous.
Further it is taught that if worldly prosperity is not directed and subordinated to and utilized for attaining spiritual illumination, it becomes self-destructive. We must however, clearly understand that from prosperity illumination is not a logical development, though empty stomach is no good for religion.
The Secret of Success : Will-Power and Its Development
Now, this one thing we all definitely want in life - success. Whatever may be our undertakings in the direction of worldly prosperity or spiritual illumination, in spheres
secular or spiritual - not one of us likes to fail. We all want to succeed. Success though we all desire, it will be noticed in various spheres of life, truly successful men are only a handful. Many are those who attain only a moderate degree of success. And many more just fail.
There will be various factors in the stories of men's successes and failures of life. But in
every single case there will be one common factor involved. That is the factor of
will-power. The degree of a person's success in life is commensurate with the degree of
will-power he has attained.
How to develop the will-power? Thus turns out to be the most important fundamental issue of everyone's life. It should be the part of our education from our childhood to be
in developing the will-power for without it education remains largely ineffective.
What IS education? Is it book-learning? No…Is it diverse knowledge? Not even that…
The training by which the current and expression of will are brought under the control and become fruitful is called education. Now consider, is that education AS A result of which the will, being continuously choked by force through generalizations, is now well-nigh killed out. Is that education under whose sway even the old ideas, let alone new ones, are disappearing one by one, is that education which IS slowly making man a
If, unfortunately, we have not learnt how to develop will power early in life, we should
do NO at any stage of life, because self-improvement is almost impossible without the voluntary or involuntary exercise of the will-power. Whereas, given the will power, we can bring about considerable changes in our individual and also collective lives for the better from very hopeless situations.
Consider these three cases of modern history. When Lincoln was alone with history
in the White House in those dark days of Civil War, what would have happened to the Union but for his powerful will to save it? Consider how the will-power of Winston Churchill played the decisive role in the 2nd World War. What would have happened to England and Europe now enjoying prosperity but for that man's will who said he had nothing else to offer but blood, sweat and tears? Consider again the effect of the will-power of Gandhi whom Churchill called the half-naked fakir for all the peoples in the world who in their own lands were ruled by colonial powers?
If we study the lives of those persons who were once in very bad shape and afterwards
were found to rise from the shambles in a spectacular manner, we shall discover in
every single case, it was their will-power that brought about their transformation and rise. If we study the lives of some persons who early in life showed much promise, had enviable facility to rise high and yet never fulfilled their promises, wilting away like buds before fully blossoming, we will discover in every single case that there it was the absence of the will-power that caused their early wilting.
Given the will-power, man makes everything out of nothing as it were. In the absence of the will power, all his talents and qualities and endowments come to nothing.