38. “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life–think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” – Swami Vivekananda
Vivekananda was an Indian Hindu monk who was a crucial figure in the introduction of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world. He brought Hinduism to the forefront as a dominant world religion, encouraging its revival in India, during a time when it was being colonized by the British.
In order to be successful, you have to dedicate your body and mind to a single goal. It has to become second nature to your existence. Otherwise, there’s no point. It has to be something that you genuinely want before your life is over, and that means preparing your body, both physically and mentally, for the long road ahead.
39. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
A diplomat and an activist, Roosevelt held very controversial opinions at the time when it came to the treatment of African Americans. While serving as the First Lady, she managed to have press conferences regularly, write a monthly magazine column as well as a daily newspaper column, and host a weekly radio show. There was no slowing her down.
There will always be people telling you not to do something or trying to tear down your efforts. So it is entirely your choice to accept those words into your life and internalize them. However, you can also choose to reject them and stand up for what you believe in so that you can rise above those criticisms and make it to the goal post despite what they say.
40. “Our greatest fear should not be of failure … but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” – Francis Chan
Chan and his wife founded the Cornerstone Community Church, which started with just 30 people. Soon, those numbers blossomed into a congregation of about 1,600. He eventually resigned from the church and moved to California to start the Eternity Bible College. His faith was shaped during his childhood years after several deaths in his family, including his mother, father, and stepmother, all before he was 13 years old.
Small successes are great at starting that snowball reaction of building to more significant achievements. However, what’s the point in progress if you’ve excelled at something that doesn’t matter? That isn’t to say you have to measure yours against the more prominent successes of others. Instead, it should be an internalized examination of what is really important to you so that you know your efforts aren’t for nothing.