We organize our closets, kitchens, tools, even our garages in order to be able to readily find things when we wish to use them. So why not organize our mind, one of our most powerful tools? Among the characteristics that define the best teachers and business people is that they are mindful of their impact and are very organized. Their materials are ready to use and their thoughts sharp as they move seemingly effortlessly through their lessons, tasks, or presentations. Good business leaders know every inch of their company and can keep their thoughts organized and focused. They are ever cognizant of current and potential future outcomes.
Have you ever known anyone who lost their keys or wallet? As they panicked, you might have attempted to help organize their thoughts and make them mindful by asking them to calmly retrace their steps. Maybe you have been asked to give a speech at your friend’s wedding. You had never done so before and a bit of stage fright grips you. But no worries; you have prepared a set of cue cards to help you stay present and focused.
Sadhguru looks at how most people are successful by accident and are therefore suffering their success.
Sadhguru: Your ability to do something in the world essentially depends on the extent to which you are capable of harnessing your body and mind towards your goal, and after that, harnessing the situation in which you exist. But the most fundamental things are that your body and mind function not only to the best of their ability, but the way you want them to. When I say, “the way you want,” there are many ways to check it.
Let’s try a simple experiment. For the next 10 seconds, do not think of monkeys. Give it a try. Close your eyes and do not think of a monkey for the next 10 seconds…
Can you do it? Your mind is full of monkeys, isn’t it? Your mind is not doing what you want it to do. If you say, “I don’t want monkeys,” it will think only of monkeys. Have you noticed this? This is not just your problem. The whole world is suffering this. When they are in the office they want to go home. When they are at home they are thinking of the office.
Some time ago, I spent half-a-day with one of the English Premier League soccer clubs. They had reasonably good talent, but had not been doing well for the past few years. I spent half-a-day with them, just watching how they were practicing and playing. They were good, they knew how to play football, that was not the issue. But they were nervous, kicking the ball around, and every time it did not go where they wanted, I would hear four-letter words flying all over the place. And the next day, they were playing another team full of well-known stars who could turn the game around single-handedly! I made them sit down and told them some simple things about themselves for about an hour-and-a-half. They had not beaten the other team in four-and-a-half years, but the next day they won the game 1-0.
The problem is just this: the mind is going into everything that it should not, but not doing what it should be doing. What happens in your mind should be one hundred percent the way you want it, but within yourself, how many moments of unpleasantness do you go through in 24 hours’ time? Irritation, anger, agitation, tension, fear, anxiety – all different types of unpleasantness. If you feel unpleasant five times a day, one way or the other, the residue spreads right through the day. This is not because something is wrong with your work or with people around you. It is essentially because your mind is refusing to take instructions from you.
If you cannot even conduct your mind the way you want it, the question of life happening the way you want is remote. You can only be successful by accident, not by intent.
When you are successful by accident, you live in fear. People have landed up in places just by accident, and they live in enormous anxiety all the time because they are successful by chance; they did not get there by their own dint. They somehow got there, so now they are fearful every day. But when you are successful by intent, you know you can do it. If the whole thing gets washed away tomorrow, you will rebuild it once again.
When you do anything accidentally, invariably, you will suffer the process. If you know how to drive your car well, it can be a joy. But if you don’t know how to drive and do it accidentally, it can be enormous suffering. Every process of life can become a huge suffering if you do it accidentally. People are successful by accident. That is why they are suffering their success. If you suffer your failure it is bad enough, but if you suffer your success, then your life is 100% tragedy.
There is enormous suffering in so-called “successful” people. Why? Because they manage a big industry and huge corporations, but they do not know how to manage their own mind. That means their management is by accident, not by intent. Managing an industry or a corporation essentially means you have to manage ten thousand minds. If you do not know how to manage your own mind, how will you manage the outside situation?
If you are causing misery to yourself, obviously you do not know how to manage your mind. Nobody can cause suffering to you. People throw various kinds of situations at you, but it is always you who caused suffering to yourself. For example, if I call you an idiot, you would cause suffering to yourself. The word “idiot” does not cause suffering. If you did not know English and someone called you an idiot, you might think they were saying “good evening.” So, if you are causing suffering to yourself, the basic things within you are obviously out of control. They are not happening the way you wish them to happen.
Any instrument in your life is useful to you only if it takes instructions from you and is managed by you. Please see, the state of your mind is such that it says its own things, it does not listen to you. Your mind is not doing what you say; you do whatever your mind says. That means you are a terrible manager. If you are like this, you will only manage external situations by accident.
An Organized Mind
In yoga, a well-established mind is referred to as a Kalpavriksha. If you bring your mind to a certain level of organization, it in turn organizes the other three dimensions of your system – your body, emotion, and energies.
Once these four dimensions are organized in one direction and kept unwavering for a certain period, anything you wish will happen. You don’t even have to lift your little finger. Without having to do any activity, you can manifest what you want.
The problem with your mind right now is that it changes its direction every moment. If you walk somewhere and keep changing your direction every two steps, the chances of reaching your destination are very remote unless it happens by accident. But if you organize your mind in one direction, and in turn organize the whole system in that direction, anything you wish will happen.