The Shastras talk about three factors that are necessary in order to fulfill our destinies.
- Aim – There should be a definite aim or goal in life. This does not come arbitrarily. Often our aim emerges from a lot of trial and error. Once the aim manifests, a one pointed attention towards that aim would garner a lot of good.
- Action – A very disciplined strategy to work towards our aims is crucial. This is in fact the core of Karma Yoga. Even though Karma Yoga says to do your duty without looking at results, it is pointing to immediate results like fame, money or other material gains. The final aims in life such as Wisdom are Self Realisation are still very valid.
- Self Control – After having understood our aims and chartering out a very defined strategy for action, we need to develop great self control to reach our goals. A mind that is not easily triggered towards anger, envy, sadness, pride and lust need to be developed in order to attain our big goals.
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Aim, Action and Self Control in Modern World
The Management theories of our times also talk about these same principles of success. Many leading organisations and people set personal and professional goals. A very dedicated plan of action to follow those goals are vital for success. Some goals are short term and some are long term. If we look at organisations, their Vision and Mission Statements reflect the goals of the organisation and “Strategy” refers to the action plan they adhere to in order to reach those goals. The “Values” statement refers to Control Measures of the mind such as mutual respect, team spirit and so on. It is no wonder that Bhagavad Gita is considered as a very practical text by Management Gurus today. This concept appears in Shloka 9.22.
Successful individuals also reflect these qualities in them. Consider Cinema, Sports, Business, Politics or any such field and these qualities are very visible in them. One simple observation is the food habits of people in power. It comes as no big wonder that those considered very successful by the world prefers food of a Satvic Nature. This enables them to act very well even at a senior age like in their Seventies and Eighties. Some successful people seem to lead very colourful lives, such as Sir Richard Branson. Look beyond the apparent parties and adventures to see the Aim, Action and Self Control.
Concept of Yoga and Kshema
Getting that you don’t have already with you is referred to as “Yoga” and retaining that which you have attained is “Kshema”. Most struggles in life can be attributed to these two concepts. We try to get those things that we don’t have and retain those that we gained with a lot of effort. These actions often result in pain and dejection. It can be seen that very short term goals and the effort to reach them are the reasons for difficulties. A long term strategy and life goals do not cause a lot of pain.
Principles of Aim, Action and Self Control can be employed here to see how Yoga and Kshema do not affect those with clear intentions. People with life goals do not give a lot of importance to short lived pleasures or gains. When each day is spent strategically to reach one’s goals, material possessions and qualities are viewed as game, more than life changing elements. We have heard of people who lost everything with them and how they came back to life with more vigour and self esteem after their apparent failures. Steve Jobs who was fired from Apple was considered as a technology visionary during his final days, again at Apple.
The Shastras say that one who has charted out life goals will be helped out by Nature and Universal forces itself. How placed are you with regards to your life goals?