Defining success using the Vedic technique Neti Neti

Defining success using the Vedic technique Neti Neti

If you don’t study, you won’t be successful in life! Don’t you want to be successful and famous? Your life is a waste if you are not successful.

How many parents are guilty of using these phrases, intentionally or unintentionally, with their children?

Success is a simple, straightforward, easily articulated word that has become the foundation of parenting in many families. Let’s break this word and attempt to dig deeper into its essence. In times when the race to gain maximum visibility has become the driving force of every thought, when brand marketing is not just limited to organisations but has expanded to individuals too, it's vital to scrutinise every cell, every vein that gives life to the essence of success.

Neti Neti is a powerful self-analysis technique documented in the ancient Vedic scriptures. Its power lies in its simplicity. It helps you remove the layers one by one to come to the core of what you are seeking. Neti means not this, not that", or "neither this, nor that. Let’s say you wish to understand who you really are. Instead of listing points that describe you, you start crossing out the things that don’t define you. In the end, what you get is who you simply are.

The phrases you can use to represent Neti is I am not, or it is not. If you are using this technique for self-analysis, you can say, for example,

I am not an angry person.

I am not a liar

I am not lazy

In my opinion, this is a very technique to sift your way from chaos to clarity. Let’s see how parents can use the Neti Neti technique in three areas to help their children redefine the concept of success.

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1. Success: it is not defined by who wins

Competition has sadly seeped into the core of everything we do. Children are not born with this seed in their mind, it's a plant that society nurtures gradually and steadily based on set belief systems and stubborn mindsets. The complete journey becomes a race by limiting our energy on just two outcomes, winning or losing. This makes us blind to the lessons that were meant to be learnt. Embrace every challenge with grace and curiosity. Ask, ‘What is the lesson for me?’ You, as a parent, can help your child turn every rejection into an opportunity to explore more possibilities. To children reading this, I would like to remind them that these pearls of wisdom that come enveloped in the form of challenges are worth collecting. Seek them, contemplate on them, and rewrite your own definition of success.

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2. Success: it is not defined by popularity

We live in times when 15 minutes of fame is achievable and doable for anyone and everyone. This is both liberating and entrapping. Fame is not limited to a few Bollywood stars or pop stars; every talent can find a place in the world to shine. But I often wonder if this has mitigated the beauty of sadhana or the dedicated practice that one needs to undergo to honour the talent. In a bid to get more likes and be the next big thing, we are becoming more and more impatient. Our Vedas have given the virtue of patience a special place and often mentioned its enormous contribution towards success. It is after long, arduous practice and patience that Arjuna became the best warrior. Had he been born in. today’s time, imagine how much time would have been wasted in gaining social media likes and wasted the precious time of practice. The key is to focus on enhancing one’s skills. When you are the best in your field, success will naturally follow.

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3. Success: it is not defined by money

Sadly, this is the illusionary goal that most of the world is running after. The illusion is that success brings money, and money brings happiness. Without a doubt, money brings materialistic comforts, but does that guarantee happiness? Is every rich person happy? If taken out of the equation, the route to happiness becomes way simpler! Success is not the outcome of just achieving fleets of glory; it is achieving happiness in every moment of life.

Having seen what success is not, let’s try to collect what’s left and summarise success.

Success is a culmination of countless private moments of celebration that gradually morph into a flame of inspiration for all to rejoice. Success is the hope that keeps the broken spirit high during those years of practice, dedication, and a lonely fight. It is that unbroken promise to yourself that one day you will become the best version of yourself. For parents, every moment of joy spent with children is success. For students, getting a new understanding of a subject is success. To live with joy, irrespective of outer chaos, is success. To live mindfully is success.

Ekta Bajaj is a writer, visual artist, motivational speaker and Co-Founder of the award-winning publishing company, Author In Me. She is also the author of the empowering book, ‘The Voice of Kali’ and co-author of ‘Book of Affirmations for Children’. Her deep passion for storytelling and positive thinking has inspired her to research the ancient knowledge of Vedanta that provides a holistic approach towards developing mental and emotional strength.

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