Success Through The Ages
When I scan information, I see connections. My mind is constantly looking for connections between the past and present, east and west. Its incredible how information across the centuries can stay the same. Information from ancient times can be passed down to our present day wholly intact. The terminology may be different, but the essence remains the same.
I saw a video pop up lately called Shiva's 7 Secrets of Success. As I read through each law, I realised it was very similar to Yogi Bhajan's 7 Steps to Happiness. It was as if Yogi Bhajan had re-purposed this same wisdom to relate to a different audience. When I read each step side by side, I realised that they also compound on one another, creating a fuller picture of success and happiness. These words were so profound, I thought it might inspire you to reach your goals and become your own picture of success.
Just by looking at these steps, it is apparent that a transformation is taking place. From step 1 to step 7, we go on a journey of discovery within ourselves to find a place where success or happiness naturally flows.
1. Determination // Commitment
Shiva begins with the first step of determination. Shiva makes it clear that we must have a focus for our lives, and that focus is to be our mission. No matter when others say of us, we must continue on the path. Shiva recommends that if we are given criticism or praise, that we remain steadfast in our life mission. Even if we are wealthy, or poor, we remain focused. If we are to face death, or become bored, we must not give up. He warns us there are people who wont take responsibility and become defeated, a second group that will give up when things become difficult, and there is a third group of people that will continue irrespective of what is going on around them. This matched identically to Yogi Bhajan's first step of commitment. Yogiji says we must commit with all our hearts. It is the basis for everything.
2. Shraddha // Character
The second step that Shiva gives is shraddha or movements towards goals. This is an ancient word that encapsulates what it means to move consistently towards our life mission. It is the combination of veracity and movement. All your resources, thoughts, heart power and will should go toward the fulfilment of your goals. The second step for Yogiji is character. This step is similar to Shiva's, but it gives more depth. Character is the affect of our hard work. The affect of working hard on our goals gives us depth of character. Something that gives us self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment.
3. Reverence // Dignity
The third step is reverence. Reverence to the guru, or one who dispels darkness, maintains our humility. We cannot be egocentric if we are reverent to the divine. Yogiji elaborates on this step through his third step of dignity. When we are humble, others want to be around us. Dignity means people will trust, adore and respect us. Maintaining that connection to the divine or God, also helps us to be humble.
4. Balance // Divinity
The fourth step is balance. Shiva says its very important to be balance in mind and body. We can't feel superior to people, or feel inferior. We must maintain our mind so we don't acquire a defeatist, hopelessness or despair complex. Maintaining the mind through meditation allows us to maintain our minds so our perception doesn't become distorted. Yogi Bhajan calls the fourth step divinity. There is no sense of duality left in your being - people completely trust you and have no fear about you. This goes hand in hand with balance. Being in a balanced state with a clear perception allows others to see your authenticity.
5. Self Restraint // Grace
The fifth step is self restraint. Shiva reminds us that without self restraint, we cannot accomplish anything concrete. Yogji's fifth step is grace. Grace is this mystic quality that is hard to define. Its the way you conduct yourself everyday - like you are constantly blessing yourself and others. There is no hidden agenda when you have grace, no distance between you and God - everything flows. Restraining yourself through boundaries allows you to purposefully create, which you can only do through divine grace.
6. Balanced Diet // Sacrifice
The sixth step is balanced food and diet. Eating substantial food in small amounts is best for a calm mind and body. Shiva stresses all food should be beneficial for the mind, body and spirit. Food selection should be done carefully and with thought, rather than acting on cravings or compulsion. Yogi Bhajan's sixth step is sacrifice. You sacrifice parts of your own happiness for another. Its not about being a matyr, its about realising that we are all connected, and that the pain of another is your pain too. Sacrifice can take many forms, to me it means being willing to step out of your comfort zone for another. Through eating well to maintain the mind and body, we become strong. That strength and balance allows us to be there for others.
7. There is no last step // Happiness
The seventh step is interesting - I'm sure you'll be surprised too. Shiva says the seventh step is that there isn't one. He ends by saying that it is important to remember all of these secrets. It could mean that each step in itself is powerful, and we shouldn't be waiting for a final step to 'take us' to success. By following each of these simple steps completely and fully, we will be successful. That success is born in the moment we are the past sixth things. Yogji's seventh step doesn't exist either. The seventh step is happiness. Remember the title, Yogi Bhajan's 7 Steps to Happiness? By the seventh step, following all six steps, you have achieved happiness. Happiness, like success, isn't found by doing something, but by being. All six steps help you to cultivate a mindset that allows you to be happy.
I find the parallels between these two so incredible! It is amazing how each set of steps can create within us, success and happiness. You might think that success and happiness are different, but I don't think so. Shiva is referring to the success that encompasses our whole lives, not just money and fame. Shiva calls us to be successful in mind, body and spirit. To cultivate the holy being within us - because that is true success in life. Yogji similarly encourages us to find happiness, because within that happiness is a life well lived.
Implement these steps into your life and see how you go! I have already started doing a few of these steps and can see a big difference in my life externally and internally. My whole attitude is beginning to change. These two spiritual leaders know that when we apply ourselves, magic happens.