Everyone seeks happiness. True happiness is a product of inner fulfillment. Through the ages, sincere people have turned to spirituality to find a higher quality of life. The tendency in today’s world is to be trapped in a life obsessed with quantitative rather than qualitative values. This tendency can imprison the mind in endless superficialities. Today, stress and anxiety are often daily realities, and even those who excel are often prisoners of their own success. The more we have, the more work it takes to sustain it, and the more people try to take it away from us. It’s like battling to swim upstream in the river of competition.

Real wisdom is to build our life on a strong foundation. This world is a place of dualities and no one, whatever their position may be, can escape from these dualities. There is success and failure, honor and dishonor, pleasure and pain, happiness and distress, victory and defeat. If we build a strong internal foundation in life, then whatever comes in our life—the ups, the downs, the rewards, the trials—we can grow from, we can gain experience from. We can deepen our love through any situation that comes upon us. We see the world according to our unique state of consciousness. A really successful person is one who sees a positive opportunity in every situation in life. Even in the darkest tragedies and traumas, there must be something to learn, some wisdom, some growth, some opportunity.

A diamond is nothing but an ordinary piece of coal, which with the help of nature’s wisdom, has transformed into a precious jewel under extreme pressure. Pressure can make us, pressure can break us. Tragedies can make us or they can break us. And even success, honor and glorification can make us or break us. To make a positive transformation takes a strong foundation. We should perform our duties with full power and determination and enthusiasm, and not be attached to the results of our duties. A happy, clear-thinking and fulfilling life requires that we learn the art of controlling the mind rather than being controlled by it.

What greater need is there than the leaders of society, from all levels, to be exemplary in transforming greed into generosity, transforming envy into appreciation of others, transforming arrogance into humility, transforming our selfish passions into selfless love, service and compassion towards others, transforming despair into hope and seeing opportunities in whatever comes before us in life?

— Radhanath Swami