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Hard work is an important key to success. We have often heard of the saying-"Success is not final ,failure is not fatal. ”Failure is a part of success. It is a success in progress.

In this episode of The Payal Nanjiani Leadership Podcast, Payal Nanjiani a Leadership expert, world-renowned executive coach and a New York award-winning author goes one on one with Swami Mukundananda, renowned spiritual guru. He is one of the best- selling authors, an authority on mind management , a teacher of yoga, and holistic health for thousands of seekers across the globe. This is an edited transcript of the episode . You can listen to the full episode on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or Google podcasts.

Payal: How do you define success and failure and what does it actually mean for our soul?

Swami: Success is such a wonderful world, we all want success. Very few have a very clear definition of success for themselves. In general people have a vague idea of what it means to be a successful person, which goes something like this, one should possess the wealth of Bill Gates and the physique of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the intelligence of Albert Einstein, the athletic ability of Michael Jordan and the business progress of Warren Buffet and the heart of Mahatma Gandhi and the imagination of Walt Disney. This idea that people have of success is again focused on the externals. Sometimes we may possess all the externals yet we may not have happiness within. So that success will not satisfy our souls and that is why I would like to share a little story with you. One grandmother used to come and stay with her children during the summers and at that time she would play monopoly with her grandson . The grandson was 5 year old and she would regularly defeat him in monopoly. After the summer vacation was over, she returned. A new child moved into the neighborhood. He was really good at monopoly and this boy started playing with him and slowly slowly he became even better . He was now waiting for next summer for his grandmother to come. When she arrived , he was eager to play monopoly and this time when they played, he defeated her. She smiled and said my child it seems like you have become expert in this game. Let me teach you one last lesson. Ultimately it all goes back into the box. We may have acquired many things, we may have built a lot of properties, we may have done wonderful things and ultimately it's all going back into the box. You all are going to depart one day. So keeping that fame, that perspective if we try and find a deeper meaning of success it is not in what we have but in what we are. We should make this our perspective that we wish to be the best that we can be and when we define our success in this way we really don’t care if others are better than us or not because we are running our own race. So it's not important whether we are better than others or not. It's important whether we are the best in terms of our own potential and in the same way what we are doing, was that the best that we could do. To be the best that we can be and to do the best that we can do and the consequence of that is you feel happy from within. This is the direction in which our soul is revolving. In this way we are definitely going to experience failures because nobody starts at the top. The process of learning has failure built into it .Failure is not permanent . It is just an opportunity to learn to grow and to move ahead. There is no harm in making a mistake. But if you make the same mistake again next year then that is a problem. Neither success nor failure is permanent. They are all parts of the journey to the ultimate goal. Soul is on an evolutionary journey and the goal is to reach the ultimate perfection .

Payal: Why do you feel people at large, whatever their designation, are very afraid to fail?

Swami: As people grow in significance and they acquire higher positions, it is natural that they receive adulation of those below them. All this adulation should not be taken too seriously. Ultimately we are just humans. In Rome, the generals would have these slaves called Auriga. They would be given the responsibility of transportation because of their loyalty and the custom was when this Auriga would put the crown on the general's head, they would whisper in their ear- remember you are just human. So don’t take that position, don’t take the popularity too seriously. If we become attached to all that , then it is natural it is going to lead to fear. CEO’s etc. have got a lot at stake because their decisions impact hundreds of people , employees, the profits of chairholder etc. So because of so much being at stake , the decisions become vital and critical but becoming fearful is not going to help. The way to make the best decision is to keep the intellect fresh, unattached and the moment attachment develops, then we stop making the best possible decision. So it is sense of fear have to to be countered by changing the value system .At the bottom of it, what is it we are valuing, if we are valuing the external accomplishments, the position and society etc., then it is natural we will fear that it gets snatched away from us . However, if we change our value system, it's okay that I may have become a CEO . How good have I become as a person. I may have gained the whole world but if I have not improved the quality of my soul then what is the value of it all?

Payal: If there was one message if you had to give to anyone on this planet who is wanting to succeed, what would that message be for all of us?

Swami: We all want external growth but the basis of that has to be our inner development. We all run on the outside and we ignore our inner development. Let anyone analyze their time and schedule for the entire year and see how much time they allot to investing in themselves , to focusing on becoming better people. But that is the very foundation. If we can focus on becoming better people, if we can focus on having better attitudes, better ideals, better beliefs then success on the outside will come very easily. Grow from within to succeed in life.

Failure is not permanent. It is just an opportunity to learn to grow and move ahead.

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