What is success? Have you ever wondered why it is that for
some, everything works, and for others, nothing works? Why
is it that two people can have essentially the same
opportunities, but one person be happy and the other one
miserable? Is it not, therefore, happiness that constitutes
the true meaning of success?
Success is happiness! Truly successful people are happy,
and when you are happy and who le in yourself, all good
things follow. Where then do happiness and wholeness
come from? How does a person who experiences
frustrations in life become whole? Can personal wholeness
provide happiness, improve self-esteem, and lead to riches
and fame, peace balance and harmony? Can relationships
with family, friends and associates be improved because
one person assumes the responsibility to be personally
whole, takes the initiative to exude joy and happiness,
seizes the opportunity to empower his or her own life by
using the secret of the ages? The answers to all these
questions lie in the seven fundamentals of the master
The first fundamental is you – the absolutely awesome and
incredible you! Not the you of self-doubt, not the you that
fears rejection or failure, not the you that questions your
abilities, but the real you! Those other “yous” are not you.
They are synthetic yous built upon limited and false notions
of who you are and what you may become. For most of us
those false notions originate as we mature. In our very early
attempts to achieve acceptance, we often trade off our real
selves. The desire to be loved is so strong that many of us
give up love or respect for ourselves in order to obtain
security. That trade-off never works, because what we are
insecure about in the first place exists within ourselves.
Happiness is a state of mind. The kingdom is within. The
real you is a higher you, a higher power that resides within
you or is available to you whenever you ask or seek. The fact
is, it is your birthright to manifest the glory of the incredible
you. You absolutely have the power and ability to experience
all the bounties of life, to experience many literal miracles in
your life — for you yourself are a miracle, and all that you are
or can ever be is a gift!
So the first fundamental is you. The power resides within
you. No one else can do it for you. Your thoughts are
reflections of your expectations. What has been sown in
your subconscious mind is what you reap. Doubt produces
failure, fear yields anger, and belief in limitation is the
greatest of all self-fulfilling prophecies.
The second fundamental is that thoughts are things. The
thoughts we have reveal the beliefs we have about
Listen to how we talk to ourselves. Is the language from the
inside reflecting optimism, or is it filled with negative and
What you expect is what you get. Science refers to this
phenomenon as the Pygmalion effect. It is a fact: if you
expect the worst, you get it. And some of us must love it,
because we keep on getting it! Oh, we may complain about
it, we may yell and scream when it happens, but what do
most of us do about it? Most of us speak and act as though
there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. After all, isn’t
life full of “normal” events that produce “normal” responses?
Isn’t it normal to become angry for being cut off in five o’clock
traffic? Isn’t it normal to become fearful when the boss
speaks harshly? Isn’t it normal to be frustrated with a child’s
lack of respect or self-responsibility? Isn’t it normal to
become stuck or just fed up?
Such reactions may be normal, but are they appropriate or
conducive to happiness? Has anger ever produced a
peaceful sense of harmony within you? Has it ever solved a
problem or led to anything other than more anger, guilt, and
feelings of being out of control? Such reactions may be
normal, but another word for normal is average, which can
be defined as the best of the worst and the worst of the best.
Neither end of this definition is the highest best of who you
You are your thoughts. You manifest your thoughts, your
subconscious beliefs, in everything you experience. Do you
believe you deserve happiness, wholeness, and success?
You must truly know at all levels of your being that all good
things are yours in order for them ever to be yours. You
create your own realities. Events are not pivotal points in
your life, you are the pivotal point in your life. When your
thoughts are in agreement with your desires, your desires
will magically materialize.
The third fundamental is to forgive and let go. That idea may
be a bit startling at first, but think about it for a minute. Do
you consider yourself to be a victim? A victim of your
circumstances? Or are you willing to assume responsibility
for who you are? There are two ways to be tied up in the
world. One is to be tied, literally, by someone else and the
other is to tie yourself, figuratively, by refusing to let go of
beliefs that limit your expression of the whole and complete
being you are. In other words, as long as you displace
responsibility by blaming someone or something for who
and what you are, you remove from yourself the power to be
anything other than partial and incomplete.
All behavior is the result of choice. Sometimes our choices
are made at an unconscious or a subconscious level. For
example, we choose to avoid conflict by repressing our true
feelings. Later our true feelings become so strong that we
can no longer suppress them, and some small incident
triggers an overkill response. That is a reactive model — we
have lost control. When we assume responsibility for every
aspect of our lives, we get in touch with our deepest fears
and feelings. The power we gain over our former, reactive
behavior, provides us with the ability to respond
appropriately to all stimuli. That is a proactive model — we
are always in control.
It has been said that the highest act of consciousness is
inhibition – inhibition of animal stimulus-response
conditioning. When we accept responsibility for our every
thought and action, we empower ourselves by performing
the highest act of consciousness: inhibiting the animal
stimulus-response reaction. But that means we no longer
have anyone to blame.
In fact, as long as we blame, we effectively eliminate our
ability to grow, to be in control, or to experience peace,
balance, and harmony. Power to grow resides in
forgiveness. Forgiving and letting go will set us free.
Forgiving everyone, including ourselves, provides the
opportunity to become more than we have been, which for
many is but a mere shadow of our real selves. And the irony
of all this is that most of us know that we are much more
than we have acted out our lives to be!
The most powerful force in the world is love. Love cancels
fear. Fear is the only obstacle that must be overcome in
order for all of our experiences to take on new dimensions
of meaning and joy. This love is not romantic love between
lovers but the unconditional love that we give our children.
We are all children in some relative stage of development,
learning how to live in joy and happiness. When we truly
understand this truth, it becomes easy to forgive another of
acts that are selfish and self-centered — and forgive
ourselves, as well. “Above all else, respect thyself,” said
Pythagoras. In order to love others, we must first love
ourselves. We cannot pour from an empty container.
Contemporary studies of behavioral dysfunctions ranging
from learning difficulties to criminal activity indicate one
common denominator: low self-esteem. Low self-esteem
grows out of fear of rejection — rejection by a loved one, an
employer, a stranger, anyone who might laugh at our efforts
or who would misunderstand or disapprove. On the other
hand, high self-esteem grows out of self-acceptance.
Self-acceptance is self-love. Self-esteem comes from
self-love. We cannot love anyone unless we love ourselves.
The fifth fundamental is that acceptance is mastery. Loving
unconditionally suggests accepting others as they are.
Furthermore, loving unconditionally suggests accepting
yourself as a whole and complete being on the journey of
learning we call life.
Acceptance, love, and forgiveness are as necessarily
interrelated as each side of a triangle is to the triangle as a
whole. Acceptance is the natural process we knew as
children. When light faded into night, each of us accepted
that this just was the way it worked, and we learned to live
accordingly. As we grew older we began to manipulate our
world by means of electricity. Some things in the world can
and even should be manipulated to our benefit — turning the
dark into a bright space by flipping a light switch may be one
of them. But there are other elements in our environment
over which we have absolutely no control, nor should we.
Attempting to change other people into what we want them
to be by manipulating them is what many of us have spent
our lives doing.
The best way in which each of us can influence our
environment is in our presence of being. When we accept
other people for who and what they are, we have taken the
first step toward accepting ourselves and contributing to the
improvement of any condition or situation. Krishnamurti
once stated that “you are the world.” When we reflect peace
and joy from an inner level of being, the world mirrors it back
to us. When we judge, condemn, hate, lust, and so on, the
world shows us these qualities. The world is a mirror, for
the principal function of the world is to provide us the
opportunity to learn.
What we resist we often become. What we like least in
another is almost always a reflection of something in
ourselves. When we love and accept ourselves, we love and
accept others. Each individual who comes into our lives is a
teacher. Each has something to contribute to our learning.
We in turn have something to contribute to their learning.
When viewed from this perspective, our every transaction
with another individual transcends the limitations of
The fifth fundamental has been called the Golden Rule.
Treat others as though they were you, and treat according to
the best you there is, and the rest just happens. What goes
out is what you get back. Just as the story in the Bible of the
prodigal son teaches us that God has already accepted and
forgiven us, so this fundamental suggests that for many of
us the least of our brothers and sisters has been ourselves!
Accepting and loving ourselves provides the ability to accept
and love others, just as accepting and loving others
provides the ability to accept and love ourselves.
Martin Luther King once said, “I can never be what I ought to
be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be
what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.” He went
on to say that the mutually related network of reality is the
fabric of the human condition.
The sixth fundamental, then, is interdependence, the
principle that each of us is an aspect of the whole. Each of
us invites respect or disrespect according to what we give
others, all others. Down through the ages this concept has
been given many labels, including the popular label karma.
In law it is called reciprocity. What we sow is indeed what
Interdependence means individually assuming
responsibility for any condition that is contrary to the quality
of humanness in its highest form and then acting to
produce, out of the condition or situation, balance and
harmony for all. That is not to say that we take up causes
and then shove them down someone else’s throat. It is to
say that we can work in harmony through example and right
action to produce an environment that is loving and
nurturing for all.
Many people operate in a codependent manner. Their
method of assuming responsibility is to manipulate others
by placing blame, finding fault, or assuming a contractual
posture that goes like this: “If I do this, will you…?” or, “If you
loved me, you would…” or, “Don’t you feel sorry that I feel…”
or, “You need me to…,” and so on. Codependence is
manipulating another person to provide you with security,
sensation, and power. If someone else cannot live or
function without you, then your self-worth has been validated
— and vice versa. A codependent is a victim, a victim both of
his or her surroundings and of other people. The need to
control another person is a classic symptom of
codependency. Codependency grows out of insecurity. All
insecurities are externally oriented. The codependent sees
stimuli through the lens of expectation. Expectation is a
contract that goes like this: “I will behave this way, if you
behave this way;” or, “If you behave that way, I will behave
that way.” The fear of unfulfilled expectations gives rise to
Happiness is a state of being. It exists moment to moment
in the eternal now. If happiness doesn’t exist, conflict takes
its place — even if the conflict is only the difference between
what we think we should be experiencing and we are
experiencing. In other words, when we have what we desire,
we experience joy. Furthermore, when what we experience
is unconditional, as opposed to contractual, then we
experience only joy.
Insecurity fuels fear, and fear is a very creative force. What
we fear most is therefore very often what we create as our
experience. Instead of accepting what is, we project what
might be or lament what might have been. We are
responsible only for ourselves individually. We must be
whole before any event in our lives will be. Therefore, true
interdependence assumes the role of “fixing” oneself.
The seventh fundamental is the culmination of all the
fundamentals of success. That culminating principle is this:
Do it now. This is a world of action, not procrastination. For
anything to change, you must do the changing. Nothing
happens until you make it happen! Only you can do it for you.
If the world was a world of theory, then none of us would be
here. Nothing in this world stands still or waits. No action is
inaction and all inaction is action. The form and the function
are the same. Live with the awareness that God’s presence
exists in all!
(Note: This article was originally published in MIND BODY