Failure, either in health or affairs, means there has been lack of self-control.
The control of the self means the control of everything. What does it mean when we see a person fail time after time, or another person succeed time after time? It is just a matter of holding the reins of our affairs in our hands. When there is no rein there is failure. Failure means that there has been lack of self-control, whether it is a failure in affairs or in health.
In order to practise self-control in everything one does in everyday life, the best thing is to develop in one’s nature a certain amount of indifference. Every word that is said to one need not be taken to be so important that it should upset one’s whole being, disturb one’s balance and rob one of one’s will power.
There are things that matter, but there are many things in one’s everyday life which do not matter much and one often is apt to put an undue stress upon them. … All one says and does, and all that one thinks and feels, makes a certain strain upon one’s spirit. It is wise to avoid every chance of losing one’s equilibrium. One must stand peacefully but firmly against all influences that disturb one’s life. The natural inclination is to answer in defence to every offence that comes from outside; by that one loses one’s equilibrium. Self-control therefore is the key to all success and happiness.
Our lives are so absorbed in worthless things; very little time has been left to us to think about life and the mystery of it. Absorbed as we are in worldly things, all these will take away all our lives and thoughts. But a fuller life should be lived.
At the back of all the misfortunes of humanity, the lack of patience, of self control, of consideration and equilibrium, the one reason is: the lack of self-discipline. Wherefore all mystics say, the medicine of all diseases is this: to be master of life. … Be wise as the serpent, the Bible says. The serpent is, in its stillness, a symbol of wisdom. It can rest its body for hours together without moving. How difficult it is for man to be motionless for a quarter of an hour. We can hardly be still for one moment if the photographer tells us so.
So man has no control over his own life, and as long as he has no control over his body and mind, he cannot gain that control over his spiritual life, he can never attain to that inner vision which is the benediction of life.