In our last month’s newsletter I talked about the four components of success. To refresh your memory, here are the four pillars once again:
- Self Mastery
First I discussed Self Mastery, which is the first step on your journey toward achieving your goals. This is similar to self-discipline, but self mastery is more subtle and more comprehensive (and it certainly has a more positive connotation than self-discipline). The next month I explained my belief that a truly courageous deed is an act of the heart, not of the mind. In the third segment, I covered the significance of knowledge and its twin sister, wisdom.
This month I’d like to discuss the fourth and final component, which is Justice or Fairness. A wise man once said, “In every conflict, seek not to win but rather to achieve justice.” This is not easy in a society that trains us from childhood that, first and foremost, we must always look out for ourselves. Also, it doesn’t help that our legal system is based on the view that one person’s victory must always come at the expense of another person’s loss. At a personal level, many of us have a desperate need to be right, no matter how wrong we might be. For some people, it’s even better to be dead than to be wrong, which is the ego completely out of control, but it is surprisingly common. There are many forces that make it difficult to relax your fears, settle down a little, and put your self in someone else’s shoes so that you can search with real earnestness for a solution that is truly fair for everyone.
In my personal experience, and through studying the lives of truly successful people through history, it’s become clear to me that lasting happiness is not possible when we feel we must win at the expense of others. In other words, when we remain obsessively self-serving instead rather than life-serving, we will never be happy. We may have money, nice cars, and a beautiful house, but we will not be fulfilled. And in our fruitless chase for a final happiness, we’ll probably end up bankrupt anyway – probably financially, but definitely spiritually.
I want to be clear about what I mean by “life-serving”. I’m not talking about being like Gandhi or Mother Teresa. Few of us can understand the compassion and power of these incredible people. Let such figures serve as inspiration for your selflessness. In the meantime, for us mere mortals, I’m talking about creating a balance in our life where money and winning are not the main focus. If you want happiness, let your material successes be a by-product of your adherence to the four pillars of happiness. Finally, and firmly, put the horse before the cart again.
Here are a few suggestions to help us achieve this balance. These have to do with adjusting your thought patterns. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The ancestor of every action is a thought.” If we change our thoughts, we transform our lives. So here are a few things to think about:
- Lose your arrogance and gain some confidence.
- Instead of harassing, learn to confront people.
- Why compete when you can contend?
- Lose your recklessness in favor of courage.
- Instead of persuading others, try to educate them.
- Instead of worrying about litigation, act honestly.
- Forget coercing your children and learn to lead by example.
- There is no need to struggle when you learn how to strive.
- Instead of acting impulsively, simply try to be spontaneous.
- Don’t ever use force. It’s much more effective when you use your power.
I encourage you to explore these powerful ideas. Do your best to incorporate them into your thinking, and let them guide your behavior toward others, and toward life.
I look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on Wednesday May 25th at the Beverly Hills Country Club. Be sure to invite your friends to attend. They’ll be forever grateful. I guarantee it!