The Key to Success, Spiritual & Otherwise

* by Shivani Lohia  

"I'm convinced that half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the unsuccessful ones is pure perseverance." - Steve Jobs (1955-2011)  

The success stories can be overwhelming. Especially if you, as the reader, are a covertly ambitious person. And while the stories share struggles, there often appears a stroke of luck, something that separates "us" from "them". Our mind attributes it to "them" (our successful protagonist) as either super intelligent, lucky, having a great network or inherently talented: the prodigal child. That’s the point you stop your excuse mindset. Why? Because while some of that may be true, the success factor is – Constancy of Aim and Effort. A great teacher said that this is the virtue needed for success, to manifest greatness. The teacher being Grand Master Choa Kok Sui, founder of Modern Pranic Healing and Arhatic Yoga.

So what does Constancy of Aim imply? Simply put, it means focus and one-pointedness. Having a target and deciding not to move away from it.

On the other hand, Constancy of Effort implies following through. Persistence and perseverance are the pillars of success.

I have seen that many of my classmates from high school who have become successful in their career aren’t only those who were intelligent and got top grades. Many of the score card averagers (I like coining terms sometimes) are also doing well in life. Common factor? Perseverance. They just kept at their goal, kept moving.

Movement is essential to mandatory. Like Master Choa said, status quo is not acceptable.

Any kind of stagnancy can become the key ingredient to failure. Fixed ideas, inflexible policies and old methodologies have been the reasons why the biggest empires fell; and on a micro level as well, you can observe how they led to personal failures. So while our targets would be fixed, our approach needs to be flexible.

First ideas are only the second best. You read that right. If you are asked, what is the best solution to a water blockage in the house (for example) – you would mostly go for the one you have known as a child. Is that the best solution? Not necessarily. If a problem of the said water blockage is a persistent one, you would come up with an alternative solution. There is a higher probability of that being a more efficient and a long-lasting fix.

Most successful artists/writers do umpteen re-runs through their work. Rehearsals are important because they help you improvise. Your brain starts thinking of making it better than the last time. But it doesn’t just happen through thinking alone. Doing. That is another key ingredient. The action bit.

As a spiritual aspirant, my biggest nemesis was getting my precious bottom to move. Pranic Healing and Arhatic Yoga have been life changing in getting me out of childhood labels of being ‘lazy’, ‘no good’ and the inherent inertia to start things or complete them.

The human brain still works on survival instinct. What does that mean? It means that anything new is perceived as a threat. Your brain thinks that this new habit or work will potentially be of harm. Thus, it convinces you not to even start or to leave the project in between. Same goes for any new habit. The key then, is proper preparation and baby steps.

Say you want to take up a new diet. Research it. Don’t just start it because a family member said so or a friend achieved success in it. Be practical about it. Given your body type, schedule and other physical conditions, something may or may not suit you. Thus, research and experiment. 

Prep up.

Plan ahead what all would be needed. Give yourself time and room to adjust to the new. Say for a diet plan, if you are going on a liver detox, first experiment with the recipes. Try it for a few weeks, so that your mind doesn’t have to struggle with both the new experiments and hunger! Since making juices would already be a part of your practice, your mind wouldn’t reject it. Your brain would instead comply because a part of the habit is already familiar, i.e., making a juice/smoothie.

So how can you help yourself get moving? I have some actionable steps for you which have worked well for me. (Take it from me, I was once a pro at procrastinating!)

Step 1. Sit yourself down for a talk.

I mean it. Sit in front of a mirror and talk to yourself.

Tell yourself: Yes, this journey is new. But that doesn’t mean it is a threat. This new path may throw a curve ball. That is ok. It doesn’t mean it is a threat. We are strong and we can go through it.

Now, close your eyes and think of the last time you accomplished a task. Get into that moment of feeling satisfied and ecstatic. It need not be something huge.

Dwell in that moment. ‘See’ (with your eyes closed) what all was there around you.

Next, try to smell the different fragrances of that moment. Recall and register those fragrances.

Then recall how your body felt. How was your breath in that moment? How did your skin feel? Again, consciously register.

Now, what were the sounds around you? Was someone congratulating you? Was there a song or some music in the background? Even the silence – it's different when in the moment of success. Absorb it.

Once you do this, gently nudge your brain and tell it this is what success feels like. Register, absorb and save the association.


Step 2. Research.

As you search how to reach your goal, you are helping your brain get acquainted with the process. So the brain tends to be less defensive.

If in the course of your research, you find yourself saying “oh man! This looks tough”, stop yourself right there.

Again, self-talk: “Look, I know this is new and remember that new is exciting. We will try this. What is max we can lose? Nothing? Let’s give it a shot.”

Step 3. Prepare. Baby steps.

Get all the paraphernalia together. If it's running, prep your water bottle and fruit stock for post run energy bites. If it’s a diet, get the healthy snacks and remove all junk from hands' reach.

Take baby steps. If your goal is to run a marathon, for the first week, keep the target to 1.5 km.

If the liver detox is a 10-day plan, start with one day of fasting on juicing and smoothies.

For any goal that is overwhelming, the brain most likely would scare you away. Or it might cause you to freeze, resulting in no action.



Putting your goal in writing makes it easier to follow through. Include a few lines on your ‘Why’.

This is what will keep you motivated when you feel like you can't keep moving ahead.

Step 4. Tell yourself fall backs happen.

This is the most important part. Tell yourself in advance that you may not succeed every time. Doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is to Keep Showing Up.

{I actually have written this note several places as reminders: “Your part is to keep showing up”}

Mistakes and so-called failures are only an opportunity to make a better strategy.

Step 5. Be deaf to any negative self-talk.

If you find yourself saying ‘see I told ya, you haven’t succeeded before, what made you think you would this time???’ – Just say, ‘Sorry, are you talking to the Old Me? The New Me only moves forward. I am going to show up’.

Step 6. Have a support group.

A good set of people can make or break your target achievements.

Consciously avoid nay-sayers and do not, I repeat, do not share your plans with them unless you have a lot of confidence in going through with them. Plans should be shared only with people who would give S.M.A.R.T (Specific Measurable Actionable Relevant Time Bound) advice. Choose your tribe wisely.

Step 7. Acknowledge Successes.

Acknowledging even the smallest successes makes a strong foundation for you to follow through with your plans.

Write them down.

This part you cannot skip.

Our brain has a way of storing negative experiences at the forefront as opposed to the positive ones. To change this pattern and to become more resilient we need to have a chronicle of our achievements, however small they may appear at the moment. Remember, our personal obstacles are huge for us, even if someone else perceives them otherwise.

My final advice to you which helped me in my personal journey: Don’t compare and don’t aim for perfection.

As Dory (from Finding Nemo) said: Just Keep Swimmin’!



*** A self-described introvert who likes to interact, Shivani Lohia is a Computer Science Engineer, Behavioural and Soft Skills Trainer, Associate Certified Pranic Healer, Artist and Arhatic Yoga Practitioner. Her primary focus has been on transforming a person's and an organization’s outlook by creating a path for overall positive growth through healing, meditations, talks and inspiration. She loves yoga, dancing, zumba and running, and has had an insatiable thirst to learn and grow since childhood. 

An introvert who likes to interact, Shivani started her first meditation in fourth grade and has always found herself inclined to books of inspiration and uplifting content. Her motto for 2019 is, "laugh it all out," since a good sense of humor has a way of making everything easy.

If you wish to brighten your day with some art, head to her art page on Instagram @mannah.raghuvanshi ... all images in this article were painted by Shivani.


For new Awaken Blog posts, events and other Awakening news, click here to Like us on Facebook.


Related Articles:


How to Calm the Little Voice in Your Head and Achieve What You Want in Life

Why Should You Write a Book When There Are Thousands Out There?