Life Planning, Part 2. Success Depends on a Wise Plan
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2011-05-12
A wise plan includes learning about the field and consultation with experienced others. Start the activity out with prayer, religious blessings and on an auspicious day. Send your precise plan, ahead of time, to the inner worlds to get support. Develop clear goals for each of the six areas of your life.
It's a continuation of what we were looking at during the last talk which is the idea of planning. And that this is a natural time of year to plan.
Gurudeva divided our calendar into three seasons as we explained last time. And the first season is called Nartana Ritau and is approximately from the middle of April through the middle of August. And it's the time of year which is the best season for planning, updating our concepts about our future life. Developing them.
And there's a Sutra, a verse that Gurudeva wrote which explains it: Sutra Number 9.
It says: "Siva's devotees approach each enterprise with deliberate thoughtfulness and act only after careful consideration. They succeed in every undertaking by having a clear purpose, a wise plan, persistence and push."
So, it takes all of those aspects to make something successful. If we leave any of it out we won't necessarily succeed. And we require all four: clear purpose, wise plan, persistence and push.
The last talk looked at clear purpose, different kinds of purposes which means the same thing as a goal, different kinds of goals and how to make them clear. And if they're clear then we can be more easily successful then if they're unclear.
So, we're moving on from clear purpose to a wise plan.
I have opportunities over the years to talk to many people about achieving their goals and if they've been successful or not being successful. And usually, when people are successful, they don't necessarily bother to tell you they're being successful. So therefore, the majority of issues you hear about not being successful. Didn't work out. I went to the temple; I prayed to Ganesha. Didn't work out. Why is that?
Well, of course, there's many reasons for lack of success. But, when it comes to something that's somewhat or definitely very complicated, the reason is usually lack of a wise plan. That's almost always the reason why success wasn't achieved. The plan was just not carefully thought through. It wasn't detailed enough. It was more of an impulse. We embarked upon something and we kind of thought it through but the whole approach was more of an impulse. We didn't really take the time to develop a wise plan.
There's one story, as I say, it was the lack of success story. The one's I usually hear about that really struck me. Cause it was a young couple who came, they're probably about 30 years old and they were living in Florida. Hindu couple and came and talked to me. They wanted to, instead of being employed with others, businesses, they wanted to start their own business. An ice cream store in Florida. That's a good place to start an ice cream store I'm sure. Nice and warm all the time like Hawaii.
And they asked for blessings. And I gave my usual advice when someone asks for blessings and it involves business. I say: "Get some advice. Get some professional advice." This case I suggested the S.B.A. The Small Business Association. Because, quite often, they can give excellent advice to a young couple like this who don't know a lot about business, don't have any experience. And they're free. Experienced individuals who are volunteering their time to guide businesses. That was my advice.
I didn't hear from them for a while. But I think about six months later they emailed me and said the business wasn't doing well. And I asked them, well did they get the advice? And they said: No. And I said: Well, you know, get some advice. And then they emailed me again about three or four months later and they had closed the business. So it didn't work out. They weren't experienced enough, on their own, to develop a wise plan. Business is not self-evident, how to be successful. They needed professional input. That's why I suggested they talk to others. But, they didn't get it and therefore, they didn't have a wise plan and that was the cause of their failure.
When it comes to planning, I looked on the web a number of years ago when I was preparing this talk for another event. And the only type of planning I could find on the web was financial planning, business planning. There's just an abundance of that. You want to plan your personal life, your family life? Nothing! Nothing at all. So we'll come to that later, the personal part and the family part.
But the principles of the business part which are well documented apply. And that's learning about the field you're interested in. And really taking the time to read the material on it. But then, as I mentioned to this young couple, you need to talk to people. Because, just on your own you won't necessarily be able to figure everything out. You need experience. You need to talk to someone who's experienced.
For example, Hawaii real estate has it's own ups and downs. If you're thinking of buying a home in Hawaii you have to talk to people who know about Hawaii real estate. You just won't be able to figure it out, necessarily, and you can come in just at the wrong time and have a big problem. And if it's a major business venture then, you know, where you're putting your life savings in it and all, then you really need a consultant not just a casual person you meet. But you actually spend money to hire a consultant to make sure you get the best advice.
There's another "P" which Gurudeva adds in some of the writings and that's prayer. He says: "Be sure to initiate your wise plan with prayer." In other words, go to the temple and have an Archana done, for example, to Lord Ganesha and start the activity out with religious blessings.
It's also helpful, particularly for the major activities, to make sure you're starting it on an auspicious day. That's one of the benefits of Hindu astrology is for major events it can let it know what days are auspicious and what days are inauspicious. And taking that advice is a big help in chances of being successful.
And in our own situation here we burn prayers. We take written prayers and we burn them. Thus you could write up your business plan and burn it ahead of time, before you actually start. Send it to the inner worlds to get support, to get Their blessings. That's the idea of a written prayer.
But prayers need to be precise. Thus, sending your plan, which is well written and well documented, is a precise prayer. But if you just say: I'm going to go into business, please help me; it's too vague.
You need to send precise information in a prayer in order for it to get inner world support. You can also send options. That's another way of being precise without just limiting yourself to one possibility. But, you need to say specific things in any case. The more vague a prayer is the less beneficial.
One of the ways we can compare a business plan to a personal or family plan is: In a business plan plan you have the various departments of the business. You have sales, marketing, production, finance and so on. And in a large business you have to set goals for each of them. You can't just set goals for the overall business.
And, we were talking last time about dividing our personal and family life into major areas. So, Gurudeva divided it into five, originally. Spiritual area, social, cultural, economic and educational. And then, we added physical and health goals as the sixth category. So we went through those last time.
And the idea is to develop clear goals in each of these six areas of your life. And, if it's a complicated task, such as saving for retirement. You know, it's harder to do then it sounds. To end up with the right amount of money in the right form of investments. You need professional advice.
Some areas you don't. You know, we're going to have a family picnic in July. Requires no advice. But you're trying to save up $500,000 over a period of thirty years; you need advice to make sure your plan is realistic to do it.
We can look forward next talk to seeing persistence and push.
Thank you very much.
[End of transcript.]