Aspiration and expectation by swami sukhabodhananda


William A. Ward had said, “Four steps to achievement are Plan purposefully, Prepare prayerfully, proceed positively, Pursue persistently”. One has to learn to operate from commitment, and not from complain, to achieve success. One has to learn the joy of breaking one’s limits so that one is not limited by one’s limitation. To make this happen, one has to understand that the mind should come from “cans” and not “can’t”, for “cans” create success and “can’t” create failure.

History is filled with stories of experts who were convinced that the ideas, ambition, and projects of “others” could never be achieved. But achievers proved them wrong, for the achievers came from a mindset, “I can make this happen”.

There is a significant distinction between aspiration and expectation. One should have aspiration in life, but not expectation. Aspiration is to be fulfilled in a creative mode, whereas expectation is in a begging mode. Aspiration is the basic element for growth and expectation is the basic element for sorrow. When you expect you depend on the other and hence, bound by the other. This may sound confusing, for people who don’t ponder deeply on the distinction between aspiration and expectation.

Aspiration is our inner nature, and seeking it is the outer expression. Our life is like a beautiful car, and aspiration is like the key. Aspiration leads to fulfillment. Even if it not pleasing, still it is satisfying. Expectation is unsatisfying. Expectation is an enemy to life, for it makes you a beggar and not a creator. This may be difficult for one to get but, please put in efforts to understand. To make it little more simple and easy for you to digest, let me put it in another way. Let the center of your life be aspiration and expectation, the circumference of your life. Whereas for most of us the center of life is the expectation and the circumference is aspiration. This will create chaos in one’s life.

Achievement comes, when one seizes the moment with zeal and clarity. Clarity will help in studying the right things and learning the right lessons. Carefully assess your present strengths, success and aspire to reach the peak. Don’t whip yourself with negative things of the past. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “A man is a hero not because he is braver than anyone else, but because he is brave for ten minutes longer”. People don’t become famous because of their knowledge, their true intention or the things they desire. They become achievers when they get things done as Emerson said, “They stick with it ten minutes longer”.

You don’t stick longer for that extra ten minutes, for you are impatient. Telltale signs of impatience are that you don’t enjoy what you are doing. Each moment is unique and hence it is beautiful in its own way. If you learn to see the beauty in “what is”, then you are in paradise and will enjoy what you are doing. From that space, you will aspire to create and be patient to reach the peak.


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