Key To Success

What do you do when you come across a key to success in a book you're reading? You ponder over it. Since I read many books and come across many keys, I thought it would be fun to share the ideas that arise as I contemplate a key to success. Reading is not just about absorbing information, it's also about contemplating, allowing the ideas to blossom within, and nurturing a seed tossed in the rich soil of the inner garden.

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

I got my Master's degree in psychotherapy more than a decade ago. Since then I've studied the human condition with fascination. Over the years, I've learned a singular lesson: your life does not work when you oppose your soul nature. If you want a magical life, you have to drop your inauthentic transactions with the world. You discover your own power when you spend time alone to figure out what you really love to do.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

7 Root Causes of Bitter Failure

There are seven critical features necessary for even moderate success. Should any of these features be at a low ebb, then you will find yourself living a life of quiet desperation and bitter failure. Ironically, these key elements can be healed with some sustained effort. Alternatively, should you be able to raise all seven levels of personal power, you will find yourself living in a whole new world, where success becomes the norm rather than the exception.

In your efforts to improve your life by healing these symptoms of failure, do not look around you for much reinforcement, because most people are in deep denial of their own inadequacies. In fact, you will find yourself a pioneer. However, if you do not heal the conditions of failure, you will eventually have to pay a high price for such negligence.

One: Low physical energy. In our modern day world of constant struggle to sustain ourselves economically, it is easy to let stress become predominant, and this in turn, will lead to compromising the immune system and creating illness, sometimes a fatal illness.

Low physical energy comes from insufficient sleep, little or no quiet time of restfulness when awake, little or no physical exercise, and poor eating and digestion. When physical energy is low, sluggishness is prevalent and little is achieved. Unless this is healed, a person is heading toward ill health and low moods. Dysfunctional and addictive behavior, bitter losses, and personal crises arise from not having enough physical energy to fix things in our lives when they break down. We succumb before the smallest of obstacles.

Two: Mental sluggishness. The world is fast moving towards becoming entirely based on knowledge as a key economic skill. The industrial revolution, where strenuous labor was sufficient to pay the bills, is being replaced by knowledge workers. Machines and sophisticated technology are quickly replacing manual labor. In a decade or two, robotic intelligence will far outstrip the most competent human technician. Yet, all educational systems are still using the archaic factory methods of mass production and if you wish to have an intelligent mind, you will have to develop self-reliance. Ignorance, stupidity, and emotional jingoism and dogmatism have wrecked havoc on human life…and unless our species learns to value artistic and intellectual achievement, we will self-exterminate through overpopulation, pollution, epidemics, the collapse of nations, or a final war.

Three: Low ideals. All greatness and all examples of cultural heroes arise from those who have held themselves up to a higher ideal then what the consensus reality deemed necessary. I am not talking here about morals, whose values arise from dogmatic creeds, but about an individual’s desire to better themselves and the world around them. Egoic desires for wealth, popularity, and total domination are not high ideals. Many world dictators have held all three, and they have brought nothing but misery to their countries and the world at large. Champions of worthy ideals have been people like Joseph Campbell, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, and others. Dipping into the biographies of great souls is the beginning of your own greatness. When Buckminster Fuller decided to made the decision to make his life an example of what one man can do to improve the world, he created a precedent whose magnitude if replicated will have a far-reaching effect. A high ideal is one that is good for you, that is good for others, and that is good for all mankind.

Four: Dogmatic religiosity. Fanaticism is not spiritual. Understanding the great invisible forces of life can only come from original experience. Books and teachers may point the way, but ultimately, they do not light the path to deep understanding, and only make a false impression of learning. True spirituality consists of acts of kindness, moments of wisdom, and feelings of high inspiration. When we learn and absorb the lessons of our own life, enjoy genuine warmth in relationship to other people and experience wonder when contemplating the great scheme of all life, then we may awaken to spiritual understanding. Institutions, no matter how venerable, cannot make you spiritual. Gurus, no matter how advance, cannot make you spiritual. Only your own unrelenting efforts at seeking the origins and meaning of the good, the true, and the beautiful will put your feet on the path to spiritual understanding. Spirituality, ultimately, cannot be taught; it can only be learned.

Five: Superficial relationships. The entire fabric of life is based on relationships between various forms of life. The more superficial your relationship with other people, the more manipulative your interactions, and the more self-seeking your motivations, the more you hurt yourself. We know neither ourselves nor each other, and the results of this neglect of interest and affection is that we live lonely lives in a world where chaotic human behavior appears to be slowly but inevitably eroding the quality of all human experience.

Six: The unhealed past. All of us have been wounded by our interactions with the world, and as these psychic scars accumulate inside our emotional bodies, the more disturbed we become. Neurotic tendencies originate from psychic wounds. Over time, they only get worse. Unless effort is made to heal the experiences of hurt, disappointment, rejection, and humiliation from the past, then their psychic force will continue to have a debilitating effect in our lives. So numbed out are we to our own pain that often it takes skilled professional intervention to uncover it. All examples of dysfunctional behavior and poor life conditions arise from some psychic wound making its silent impression. All acts of rampant evil arise from a psyche that has completely deteriorated into psychosis.

Seven: No self-inquiry. Life is complex. Yet we respond with simple reflexes to what ails us. Rare is the person who takes time to journal, to walk in nature, or to discuss with others at a deep level what can be done to improve the quality of life. When we don’t contemplate the conundrums that face us, we continue to tread ruts of self-defeat. Reflexive living means a dearth of proactive solutions, and the more wrong answers we accumulate on what to do about things, the worse they get. Quickly enough a lifetime will pass and regret will be the last emotion experienced. The unlived life arises from the non-reflected life. It is better to reflect on what is happening in our lives when we have a chance to correct our course than to do so when it is too late. Perhaps there is no greater philosophical statement than that made by Socrates when he said: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

It is a rare and wonderful thing to be born a human being. It is also the most difficult of undertakings. Unless we choose to heal these seven levels of failure in a consistently committed way, we will find ourselves impoverished by our own unwillingness to seek significance. Behind pain is pleasure, behind sorrow joy, and behind failure success…we have only to effort to turn things around for ourselves, and in the nobility of saving ourselves, we will look around and find that where we thought to find an abomination, we have discovered a god, and where we thought to have been cast alone, we have found ourselves one with all the world. All of us have a greatness and splendor that yearns with desperation to be liberated into the light of experience.

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Saleem Rana got his masters in psychotherapy from California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, Ca., 15 years ago. He now resides in Denver, Colorado. His articles on the internet have been read by over ten thousand people from around the world. He loves to share inspiration and motivation for personal development. He offers numerous ways for you to radically improve the quality of your life. To find out more, please visit
Peak Performance Engineering


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