Morpheus says in The Matrix: "There's a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path". Life is not easy, packed as it is with challenges. And in the process of living, we feverishly pursue success, joy and happiness, believing in our hearts that they are interlinked, that one leads to the other in a smooth flow. But it's a mirage that constantly eludes us. Joy is often misunderstood; it is also easily forgotten.
Yet, the optimum quality of life as we recognise it, is realised through these moments of joy. Joy is the ultimate but to experience it, you have to be yourself. The lightness of joy is like a feather, free falling in the wind and slipping through your fingers. Joy is internal, e x p e r i e n c e d through a culmination of perfect alignment, rhythm and timing of the self. This near-perfect synch ro n i s at i o n leading to joy in its purest form is known as the `sweet spot'. There is joy in any activity that leads to personal growth and excellence. It calls for enthusiasm (en theos, the God in you) that disregards successes and failures.
When you realise your sweet spot and know what you want, pursue it with a single-mindedness to the exclusion of all else. The sweet spot is what drives you. In every game, the player needs to focus, align his mind, body and spirit. He cannot afford to let his attention waver. The road to excellence is paved with joy. But the path can get clouded over by lethargy, lack of courage, fear of failure and insecurities. These invisible enemies are demons of the mind. Self-created, these demons break down the alignment of mind, body and spirit. It is crucial to recognise and then obliterate them from the mind. Use every cell in your body and brain to hit that personal sweet spot of joy. Joy is internal whereas success is a creation of society.
Many a lifetime is spent in frustration, because most equate success with joy. But mere fame and money do not bring joy. Joy emanates from our own actions, from what one feels deep down inside. Success is a social concept measured by fame, money and power — don't fall into the trap. Success is said to be the consequence of certain actions, a result.
The cause of the result called success is termed `pure action' by Swami Parthasarathy in The Vedanta Treatise. Pure action has three qualities, concentration, consistency and cooperative endeavour. Concentration is defined as the intellect supervising the mind to remain in the present. The mind has to be continuously supervised as it travels back and forth — to the past and future — with equal velocity. An unleashed mind can cause self-destruction. An unwavering mind is the ultimate power of concentration. A detached approach is beneficial. It helps you focus. Humility is another essential factor. It is im-portant to recognise the contribution of parents, spouse, children and friends who have, over the years, relentlessly given their love, support and attention.
On your part, you have to sacrifice everything except the `passion' and your family. There is no room for a third. Eventually, the spirit within is reality for it's the soul that matters, not the external environment. Pursue the truth and do not deviate from your chosen path. Do not give up without a struggle. Do not quit unless you have stretched your potential to its limits. Only then will you experience the joy that makes life worth living. This is the joy that underscores success. Commitment to joy will create it's own success. Seek joy and success will naturally follow.
(From `Success Vs Joy'. The writer has won the Billiards World Championship six times.)