Why is it that some people are exceptional at golf, like Tiger Woods, or tennis, like Federer, or soccer like Ronaldo?
Or perhaps business, public speaking, or science?
Is it possible that we all have the potential to excel in a specific field, even the field of spiritual enlightenment?
I recently read a book called “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell. In the book, Gladwell puts forward the idea that people who have excelled in their field, do so because of the huge levels of commitment and time allocated to that discipline. He writes about men and women who do things that are out of the ordinary. Musicians, artists, writers, sports people, entrepreneurs, mathematicians, and scientists… people who have reached the pinnacle of their genre. These people he calls outliers. He suggests that it isn’t good luck, or good genes, or being in the right place at the right time, like we would like to think.
It’s In The Hours
Gladwell says it is from hours and hours and HOURS of commitment and dedication to achieving success. If you are familiar with cricket, you will know of Donald Bradman. He is considered the world’s best ever batsmen. From a very young age he spent hours upon hours hitting a golf ball against a corrugated tin shed with a thin round cricket stump. Then there’s Tiger Woods, once the world’s number one golfer. He was introduced to golf at the age of 2! From the age of five Tiger was hitting golf ball after golf ball in long practice sessions. Vanessa Mae, a virtuoso in violin, began playing piano when she was 3 and violin when she was 5. According to Guinness World Records, she is the youngest soloist to record both the Beethoven and Tchaikovsky violin concertos. A feat she accomplished at the age of thirteen.
These people may have been born with some ability however it is the sheer determination and hours allocated to their practice that has been the leading factor in their success. In his book, Gladwell says: “Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” It was while I was reading this book that I began thinking about sadhana.
Your Daily Sadhana
Sadhana is a Sanskrit word which means spiritual practice or discipline for the benefit of permanent bliss or enlightenment. Sadhana is a time allocated to achieving success in the field of fulfillment or a higher purpose for your life. It could be yoga, tai chi, qi gong or meditation. Through these daily practices, one may sustain a level of fulfillment that isn’t outcome oriented; it’s one that is permanently etched into their Being.
It’s a freedom from suffering, and a feeling of daily bliss and love.
What are you allocating your time to each day? Is it shopping, work, drinking alcohol, gambling, or reaching enlightenment? Have you embraced a daily sadhana? If you want to achieve great success in the field of fulfillment, ask yourself, what daily practice do you have that will get you there.
5-Minute Sadhana Starter
And if you would like to start with something small and simple, try this easy 5-minute meditation to get things started:
1. Sit comfortably in a chair
2. Close your eyes
3. Observe the natural breath moving in and out through your nostrils
4. As the mind drifts away, bring it back to the centre of it moving through your nostrils
5. Observe a slight cooling effect on the skin of the rim of the nostrils
6. After five minutes or longer, you can open your eyes
This is something you can do one to three times a day to re-centre yourself and create some space in your day. And remember, “Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” So if you want to become ‘good’ at calm and happy, then practice is the key. Enjoy and please share with us below what you do each day to excel in the field of fulfillment.