Path to Success

Both Bhante Aggacitta and Bro Sebastian have mentioned this concept this year, and my interest was piqued. In the Buddhist Canon, it takes up the 51st section in the Samyutta Nikaya (Grouped Collection) called the Iddhipada (literally, Path to Success).

What are the factors leading to success? There are four:

1. Enthusiasm/Passion to achieve the goal (Chanda), leading to…
2. …Sustained Effort, putting in Energy with… (Viriya)
3. …Mind intent and focused on the objective accompanying by… (Citta)
4. … Discernment (Vimamsa), Investigating thus: Is this goal something I really want? Am I putting in enough effot? Is my effort well directed? Am I on the path to achieve my objective, and if not, how shall I adjust my goal, effort and focus?

While in the scriptures the Buddha meant these 4 factors to be applied to the pursuit of meditative progressive towards enlightenment, many teachers have said that worldly success is also achieved through these 4 factors.

One must have the enthusiasm or passion first, if not one would not be able to muster energy or concentration to reach the goal. Therefore, Buddhist teachings advise us to like what we do in order to be successful in it.

One must, needless to say, put in effort and sustain it. Further, we must not be distracted but instead keep in mind the objective.

Last but not least, all these are directed and tempered by the wisdom of discernment and investigation. To prevent the waste of enthusiasm and energy, we must investigate if the goal is something we really want. Then we must ensure that we are not pouring in too much energy (leading to burn out) or too little energy (leading to falling short). We must not be too narrow minded (leading to loss of opportunity), nor too easily distracted (leading to waste of time and energy). If problems or obstacles arise, the mind of wisdom assesses and finds solutions.

Thus are the factors on the Path to Success.


1 Comment

  1. tongshien said,

    31 March 2009 at 00:30

    i like that dc alot…

    in fact i am trying to do so and see whether it works or not…

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