• Thanushree Anil

Is fear of failure stuck around you? 5 requirements of Swami Vivekananda’s beliefs to root it out

Updated: Feb 7




The way in which something is regarded, understood or interpreted.

The world is a gigantic mirror, you look at it bitterly it looks at you back the same way. What matters is, what you give will be what you receive. The amount of hard work done for a job would reflect on the outcome.

The question is, it is easy to say to think positively but how do you manipulate your mind to think positively?

You don’t have to manipulate it to be positive. If you see that the setbacks are a combo package to the success that you receive then it's quite clear for the mind to not worry as it is all part of the play.

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Swami Vivekananda, the man who saw the light, the man who delivered a speech in a foreign country in the 1800s, the man whose words are still kept alive.

Swami Vivekananda had numerous take on education, feminism, casteism the ideologies which are still struggling to escape from the claws of prejudice.

His words on success and failure truly make a person wonder if he was God himself.

“The history of the world is the history of a few men who had faith in themselves. That faith calls out the divinity within. You can do anything. You fail only when you do not strive sufficiently to manifest infinite power. As soon as a man or a nation loses faith, death comes.”

The pandemic has us all lose hope and faith as the months go by. People are losing their light, their insights into the joy of life. Life has truly become mundane for those who once lived it excitedly.

There are a set of people who have still not lost hope, the doctors, the scientists, the people in the medical field have never lost hope. They are exerting all faith in the work that they do.

Nobody knows what would happen in the next second but the next second doesn’t have to be necessarily scary, the next second could be when the cure for the virus works out.

Human beings are clever creatures and that’s why we are on top of the chain, we have ventured out on the deepest trenches to the farthest galaxies.

A little faith, trust, and pixie dust ought to make that impossible to possible. We have proved again and again from flying in the air to inventing robots to take care of our houses is not an impossibility but an absolute present.

Now we could have a little faith and trust but what about pixie dust?

Where do we get fairies?

The question of does it exist be latter, the pixie dust is a magical component, right?

What more magical do you need other than your brain? Sure it's chemicals and fluids but the human body is the most complex organism ever living on the planet.

Your ability to comprehend things, to feel one too many emotions in a minute, to invent the machine, to think logically all this and more doesn’t make you wonder if human beings have magic inside them?

You have wisdom within you, to manifest it, to embrace it and listen to it makes the magic work.

“Alcohol is not the answer to all questions”

This saying has gotten so old but has its meaning and intent died?


So why do we still say it?

Once we are intoxicated, it is easy to forget about the despair and the monotonous life that we lead, but what we are forgetting is that the intoxication won’t last forever, the reality will always come back to us like a boomerang.

The more you try to avoid it, the more problems it would pile up. Unless you are living in a dream as in the movie ‘Inception’, you can avoid it as long as you want, and when you wake up its poof! the problem is still there.

The reality is cruel sometimes, snatches away our dreams and hopes in a day leaving a distaste in our mouths and the tendency to forget about it does arise. Here is a story when Swami Vivekananda was in Paris in 1896.

Swamiji never missed an opportunity to make friends; many of them were what today we might call VIPs or “big shots.” One of these was an Italian Duchess, the Duchess of Parma, who was then living in Paris.

On this day, the Duchess took Swamiji for a ride in the country out to a suburb for a “change of air,” as they called it in those days. She hired a horse-carriage with its driver, and off they went. (We should tell you first that studying foreign languages was one of Swami Vivekananda’s hobbies, and he recommended it to everyone who could do it. He concentrated on French and learned quite a bit of it.) The Duchess had hired this coachman before, and she now said to Swamiji (in English), “The coachman of this carriage can converse in excellent polished French.” (Something unexpected of a coachman.) While this conversation was going on, the carriage came to the side of the village road. A maid-servant of one of the village families had brought a little boy and girl out for a walk. The coachman stopped the carriage, got out, took the children in his lap and kissed and stroked them, spoke to them awhile, and then got back in the driver’s seat.

Now this was a most unexpected thing. In those days, the end of the 19 century, class distinction was strong. Obviously, the children were “upper class,” and here was the hired coachman stopping and picking them up as if he knew them! The Duchess was shocked. “Why did you do that?” she asked the coachman.

He turned around and said to her, “They are my children. Have you heard of (Such and such) Bank in Paris?” The Duchess of Parma replied, “That was a big bank, but it has failed.”

And the coachman said, “I was the manager of that bank. I watched it fail. To pay back the debt will require several years. Now my ‘neck’ is in the grasp of someone else. I have kept my wife and son and daughter in a rented house in this village. There is just a maid to look after them. With what little I had, I bought this horse-carriage and have taken up driving. I support myself and my family with what I get. But when the debt is paid off, again I will open a bank and be a banker.”

Swamiji, amazed and delighted at this story, said to us all, “This is what I call a Practical Vedantist. This man has understood the essence of Vedanta. Falling from such an estate to this low condition, he is unmoved, steadily going about this work. He is in no way overcome. Thank God for such a power of mind. This man is really a Vedantist.” Swamiji often told the story.

From Londone Swami Vivekananda

by Mohendranath Datta

From this incident, we can draw inspiration from the horse carriage driver that we can always overcome the failures step by step with patience.

“Never mind failures; they are quite natural, they are the beauty of life, these failures. What would life be without them? It would not be worth having if it were not for struggles. Where would be the poetry of life? Never mind the struggles, the mistakes. I never heard a cow tell a lie, but it is only a cow-never a man. So never mind these failures, these little backslidings; hold the ideal a thousand times, and if you fail a thousand times, make the attempt once more.”

Could it be any more precise, what would earth be if it didn’t have day and night, what would the season be if it didn’t have spring and autumn what would it be if yin doesn’t exist with yang?

(also read Taoism explaining the yin and yang)

Imagine a world without any failures, what would be the point of doing anything with compassion and hard work. You would know you are going to be successful in whatever venture you are in so why bother giving it your one hundred percent.

How would the world have worked? The wars would have continued up to now until humanity died because hey! Nobody is losing.

How would we appreciate life and its fortunes if we never have tasted failure? We would never be grateful to the world and ourselves that we are breathing and for the earth revolving. Everything and anything would be taken for granted.

Humanity would turn into all materialistic and no ethereality.

“A perfect life is a contradiction in terms. Life itself is a state of a continuous struggle between ourselves and everything outside. Every moment we are fighting actually with external nature, and if we are defeated, our life has to go. It is, for instance, a continuous struggle for food and air. If food or air fails, we die. Life is not a simple and smoothly flowing thing, but it is a compound effect. This complex struggle between something inside and the external world is what we call life. So it is clear that when this struggle ceases, there will be an end of life.”

“We complain of others in our failures. The moment I am unsuccessful, I say, so-and-so is the cause of the failure. In failure, one does not like to confess one's faults and weaknesses. Each person tries to hold himself faultless and lay the blame upon somebody or something else, or even on bad luck.”

Accept that you are weak, your pride and ego coming in the way would just trip you refrain you from actually being successful.

We blame it on the black cat that passed our path, we blame it on our stars, we blame other things to escape our guilty conscience saying that it was the consequence of our actions.

Admitting that it was our lack of hard work or any other component would relieve us from making a block in our path to success.

All the great philosophies and religions preach the same learn from the mistakes that we made, learn from the failures we faced in life.

Accepting your weakness would not make you any less confident because you see now you know your weaknesses and nobody else can take you by surprise or use it against you.

You know your weaknesses and you know your way around them, there’s a saying that goes by ‘keep your enemies close’. Know your weaknesses, understand your weaknesses, and keep them close to you and not letting anyone near them.

“No life will be a failure; there is no such thing as failure in the universe.”

We always will have time to restart, rethink, and rebuild. The only factor is that we need to initiate, until and unless you are always trying and reaching a step forward even if it’s a year later, how are you failing?

You are in constant motion, a part of that motion could fail but the rest is going on. The universe has gazillions of things to offer, and we are making a gazillion things further.

Think of the bigger picture. Think of the earth as a minuscule ball next to the sun, does it matter that just one part of your plan failed when ideas and work plan the size of the sun exist?

The life span of human beings has increased up to 80 years and yet people are feeling dejected for just a portion of the plan.

As long as we are alive and the sun comes up, rain falls we always will have a chance, we all always will have a future.

The anxiety of the future, we are so pressurized to think of a foolproof plan that will not blow up in the future making us timid. At the end of the day whether it’s the fault of the cosmos or the fault of the black cat we got to have faith, trust, and pixie dust. (also read Are you timid about your future? Unlock your mind with 5 dazzling secrets of the Great SadhGuru)

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