Finding True Success - True Kindness



Finding True Success

Do you often question what success is? Many people compete for fame, wealth, power, and status. These so-called prerequisites for success in the world have become a standard of comparison among people. To pursue such goals, people strive diligently and hope that one day they might stand out in the crowd. But usually, those who are top achievers among the crowd fear that the higher they climb, the harder they fall. Why doesn't the success from fame, wealth, power, and status bring us true happiness? Success can be very difficult and easy at the same time. It is said to be difficult because, in ordinary people's view, so-called success must consist of big business, big reputation, high position, and a lot of financial assets. A person with such an achievement must be surrounded by many people and the crowd. This kind of person is called a successful person. Can this success be possible for everyone? Yes. But It is just a possibility, not a certainty. In order to be called a successful person, we must achieve any of these three things: establishing words, virtue, and merit. Establishing words is giving a talk, anything that makes sense and useful. Is it difficult to establish words? It is not easy. You have been able to think in order to establish words. Merely transmitting words for others does not constitute "establishing words". Establishing words involves true achievements, creations, or inventions. What about establishing virtue? Establishing virtue, which has to do with morality, is imperceptible. It has to be beneficial to others and beneficial to oneself. Whether is it a fundamental temperament, moral character, or ways of interacting with people, views or behavior in managing things. This must beneficial to everyone and benefit society like the grass bends when the wind blows across it. The virtue of a cultivated person is the wind while the virtue of common people is the grass. The virtue established forms a social culture or common practice. It can influence one or many people, this is what it is called establishing virtue. Obviously, only good influence may be called virtue; bad influence is evil conduct rather than meritorious conduct. Last but not least, establishing merit is doing something good to certain people or things. When we commend someone publicly, we record merit. Recording merit is the opposite of recording a demerit. This is called merit of effort. The merit of effort is demonstrated, perceptible and visible. Whereas virtue is an influence that is imperceptible but powerful. Establishing words is verbal. All three may be achieved but establishing words is more difficult. Establishing virtue and merit may be achieved by everyone. It all depends on whether it is a big or small merit. In terms of virtue, whether it affects one or many people, that influence is called establishing virtue. If we talk about success based on these three principles, everyone will have the opportunity to succeed. Do not measure by wealth or status. We ought to know that many highly reputable people may have no virtue. Those who are highly reputable or have a louder voice are not necessarily right. Not anyone with a good reputation, high status, and great power necessarily brings benefits to society or contribution to history. We want to establish the three standards we have just mentioned; words, virtue, and merit. In Buddhism, we called it merit, or doing good deeds, and performing merits. If one often has this self-knowledge and introspection, and be constantly considerate to others rather than consider one's selfish interest, then one is a successful person. What have we succeeded? We have succeeded in establishing virtue and merit. Although we have failed to establish words, we have succeeded anyway. A person who has achieved peace in mind is also a successful person. At the end of your life, you should die a contented person. If you do not die contented, then you have not been successful. When you die contented, you feel that the lifetime you spent here in this world, this time around, has not been wasted. "I have not spent this day wastefully"- this is a day by day success. There is lifetime by lifetime success, occasion by occasion success, and thought by thought success. Our success may be small or big, but a small success may accumulate to become a big success. When we are talking about the achiever of perfect virtue and wisdom, who are we referring to? The Buddha. It means attaining Buddha-hood. Attaining Buddha-hood is the greatest success. It is not for money nor status. What is it? The merit of Buddha-hood. For those who can establish words, virtue, and merit are successful people. In terms of Buddhism, those who can achieve peace of mind are also successful people, and attaining Buddha-hood is the greatest success.

Credit: Master Sheng Yen