In our last couple +1s, we talked about some ancient wisdom and modern science on the subject of being highly successful people.
As you may recall, we started with Heidi Grant Halvorson’s thoughts on the NINE things successful people do differently then we spent some time with Aristotle and explored his thoughts on the importance of being a success in fulfilling our potential.
Today I want to invite Yogananda back to the party to hear HIS thoughts on the subject.
Let’s check out our Notes on his great little book To Be Victorious in Life.
He tells us: “To activate the law of action, you must be active. Exercise your powers, rather than ossifying in inertia. So many people are lazy and lacking in ambition—doing the bare minimum of work to somehow live and eat until they die. Such a slothful existence is hardly worthy of being called life.”
Then he says: “To be alive is to be on fire with purpose, to move forward with undaunted determination toward a goal. You must be enthusiastically active, make something of yourself, and give something worthwhile to the world. It is because my Master strengthened in me the conviction that I could be something that I made the effort to achieve, in spite of all the forces that tried to stop me.”
Finally, he says: “Many individuals think great things, but do not act on them. However, it is the activity that creates the greatness. Unless you actually accomplish, you are not successful. It is not enough just to think success or think ideas; they must be demonstrated. To think you are virtuous does not make you virtuous. So thinking success does not make you successful.”
To which I cue the choir of angels to sing their sweet melody. 😂 😇
I want to note that Aristotle would, of course, agree with this line of thinking as well.
Not only did Aristotle, as we discussed in our last +1, challenge us to successfully fulfill our aims in pursuit of hitting the ultimate target of becoming a eudaimōn, he ALSO tells us that THINKING you are virtuous does not *actually* make you virtuous.
We need to, as always, move from Theory to PRACTICE.
Here’s how Aristotle puts it: “Just as at the Olympic Games it is not the best-looking or the strongest men present that are crowned with wreaths, but the competitors (because it is from them that the winners come), so it is those who act that rightly win the honours and rewards in life.”
And, it’s been way too long since I quoted Donald Robertson and his perspective on librarians of the mind vs. warriors of the mind, so…
Let’s dig this gem up from The Philosophy of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy where he tells us: “The ancients conceived of the ideal philosopher as a veritable warrior of the mind, a spiritual hero akin to Hercules himself, but since the demise of the Hellenistic schools, the philosopher has become something more bookish, not a warrior, but a mere librarian of the mind.”
Here’s to being on fire with purpose—moving forward with undaunted determination toward our ultimate goal and ultimate victory.
Let’s go, Hero!