This event was recorded on July 23, 2009 in a television studio in Bristol, England. An enthusiastic group of university students and young professionals requested the opportunity to meet with Prem Rawat in a casual setting to speak candidly with him about his work in the world. Following is a question which one of the students asked him about success, and Maharaji answered the perfect way.
Question: First of all, I just want to say thanks for what you do. It is really encouraging to see that someone would spend so much time to make peace. And I think you do, and I want to say thanks for that. My question is to someone who wants to have a successful life. I guess my question is what you consider to be real success and how that might relate to peoples ambitions and their career.
Maharaji: Well, you know success is when you feel successful. There could be people who, by the definition of this world are extremely successful. But they don’t feel successful, so they have to succeed by pushing themselves even more, and more, and more and more.
You read these stories, once in a while, they come out, and they are like so and so killed themselves. And you go, wait a minute, the person was such a good actor, he was so accoomplished, he was so good, his career was just taking off, how could he do that. You know, you looked at the list of the world that said well, this person was successful, but that person did not feel successful. Then you might have a farmer who has not much. May be, no education, nothing in terms of worldly possesssions and may be, not even a long list of ambitions, but one day he goes out and he looks at his crop and its just beautiful. Just golden wheat, waving in the wind, not a cloud in the sky. The crop is almost ready. Everything is good and it brings a smile to his face because he has succeeded. He feels the success.
You can always try to say, I need to be successful in this world. But first of all, first thing is first, are you successful as a human being? Because if you are not successful as a human being, it does not matter what you have gathered. What you have accomplished. You are not going to feel successful.
So, what does it mean to be successful as a human being? Well, it begins with those simple things. The ability to enjoy and to use that ability. The ability to be kind and to use the ability to be kind. See this is the thing and you have this. And it isn’t a question of, I wish I was kinder. Well you have more kindness in you than you will ever need. But do you consciously use that kindness. You have in you all the clarity that you could ever, ever want or desire, but will you use that? And we become very good, at anger, we become very good, at judgement. Everybody judges us, we turn around judge everybody else. I am not this, or I am this, or I have done this, or I haven’t done this, I want to do this and so we come with a list and off course the world just chips in. Yes, yes, yes, yes.
Right now, this particular time, started few months ago and its really interesting because that word "Success" has come to a grinding halt. All these people, who were just, were successful. I mean there was not a question if they weren’t successful. Their report card said A++++. They were the ones who were literally setting the bar that all of us would aspire to be at. All of a sudden went into a tizzy. Some actually committed suicide. Some are in jail. Some are packing to go to jail. Fortunes have been destroyed and people are wondering what happened. Well, would you say, could those people, even in their bad situation, could they feel successful? Well, no, not when you look at the report card of the world. They are bad people. All of a sudden, they have turned from successful to really bad people. But they are still human beings, they are still alive. Does that mean anything?
We have jails, prisons overflowing around the world. Are they not people? Are they not human beings? Do they have no good in them? Because potentially, we all carry the good and carry the bad. It is our conscious decision that makes the difference. Whether we judge or don’t judge, it is our conscious decision, whether we commit a crime or don’t, or try not to.
And this is that realm, that is of great interest to me. Because if you are successful as a human being, you’ve got it. You have got it made. If you want to be a magician, thats fine, but thats your gift. That is your exploration of the gift that you have. See, I believe everybody has a gift, we need to find what that is and get on with it. And you may ultimately, one day, play so well, so well that you like it. And it may not bring you all the fame in the world. The gold discs, and the platinum discs, nothing. But you enjoy it. Would you consider that to be successful or unsuccessful. I would consider that to be successful.