‘One must marry one’s feelings to one’s beliefs and ideas. That is probably the only way to achieve a measure of harmony in one’s life.’—Napoleon Hill, American self- help author

Successful people do have ordinary human feelings and mood swings. But what makes them special is that their life isn’t governed simply by how they feel. They live by a purpose and even if it doesn’t feel good but is in line with their deeper values and mission in life, they do it.

Spiritual living calls upon us to not blame our circumstances, or conditioning, for our behaviour. Instead, our behaviour is a product of our own conscious choice, based on values.

A spiritual leader may have human frailties; he may also feel good when it rains or may be irritated by the traffic jam. However, what makes him/her an inspiration is his refusal to allow his feelings to affect his attitude and performance. He’s determined to subordinate the feelings and impulses to true values. Brian Tracy, a Canadian motivational speaker, put it succinctly, ‘Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals and values are in balance.’

What then is the common denominator of success?

Albert Gray was an official at the Prudential Insurance Company of America and had over three decades of experience as an insurance agent and instructor. During his inspirational address at the National Convention in Philadelphia in 1940, he made a startling revelation based on the careful observations that he gathered during his intensive travel and study of success literature.

He searched for the one common thing that all successful people share. In his landmark lecture ‘The Common Denominator of Success’ he revealed that he’d grown up thinking that hard work was the key to success. However, his search revealed that hard work was certainly a requirement but not the key; he had also seen many hard-working men not being successful. His thorough research led him to a profound realization—the secret of success lay not only in what men did but also in what made them do it. His realization can be summed up as, ‘A successful person has the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do. They don’t necessarily like doing them either. But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose.’

To be continued…

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