“Human Excellence: Seven Keys to Success and Happiness” by Juan Sarmiento, (Philippines-Venezuela) psychologist, lecturer, business consultant, founder of the Will of Excellence Foundation. Watch the video. Listen to the English audio file or audio file in Spanish. Read the original Spanish presentation.
[Translation of presentation at the First Global Prout Conference in Venezuela, “Building a Solidarity Economy based on Ethics and Ecology”, 7 to 9 July 2011, Parque Central – Sala 1, Caracas]
Good morning. First I want to congratulate the Prout team, Dada Maheshvarananda, Sarvajiit and the entire team that came together for this convention. It is a success, the first time here in Venezuela.
My theme has been changed at my request, because the topic that I was going to touch on was ethics and social transformation. Since I realized that several speakers have talked about ethics, spirituality and social transformation, I requested a change and I want to offer a subject that I know you will love. It’s called “Human Excellence: Seven Keys to Success and Happiness.”
Social transformation is impossible without personal transformation. I have been searching for personal transformation, as you search for personal transformation. In 1960s I first heard about the founder of Prout and in 1967 someone whispered to me that the founder of Prout, Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar, was coming to Manila (Philippines).
At that time I was a seeker of knowledge, excellence and personal transformation. The rector of the university where I had studied for 15 years told me about Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar, who was coming to the Philippines in one year. He said that those who wanted to meet the founder of Ananda Marga and Prout, had to register one year before in order to attend the convention. He said that all people hoping to attend should prepare themselves for that entire year, practicing ethics, morality, proper nutrition, yoga and meditation. I took the challenge. I prepared myself for a year and after a year, I was sitting there.
The founder of Prout came to my country. For me, the man was the best speaker I’d seen in my life. He came, sat down, gave a talk and answered all the questions that each person had at that time. I was surprised by this speaker. It was as if he was reading the minds of each person. His talk was so beautiful and everyone was so happy. And I said to myself: “it was worth preparing for a year.”
After the talk, he, Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar, looked at me and said, “Boy, come here. You prepared for one year, correct?”
My surprise was much more than just that. After I spoke with him, I was with a group of fifteen friends and the university professor, Dr. Perry Lim, who guided me in my life and in my pursuit of excellence. He spoke to us for three to five minutes. To my surprise he spoke in English and in less than five minutes he changed the subject. He came from India speaking perfect English! After five minutes of talking with him, Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar changed the conversation to my native language, Filipino!
My mind did not understand that here was a man who had never seen a newspaper in Filipino and had never taken classes in Filipino, nor had ever spoken in Filipino, but he was speaking Filipino. No, I did not understand how a person could speak a language without ever having seen it, heard it or spoken it. So I asked him: “How did you know my language?”
This man’s response: I received the breath of every person who was in the room. How so? Each person released their breathe upon entering. Before this breathe left the mouth, it passed through the left hemisphere, then the right hemisphere of the brain. In each neuron there is recorded information about each person. I captured all the information about each person. He said that I know who you are, Juanito, I know all the languages that you have recorded in your memory, and all the lives that you’ve incarnated as. This got me spooked and my hair stood on end. I said to myself this is not just a lecturer who talks about human excellence, he must be much more. That was all because of an invitation that someone gave me to meet the founder, Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar.
After this meeting he told me to prepare, finish my studies to be a psychologist and a political scientist, and after that come to visit him in India because he wanted to talk with me more. I then forgot about Mr. Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar because I devoted myself to my studies. But after I graduated, I received another invitation from the founder of Prout. This time I was afraid because it was an invitation to visit India. I knew that the man was going to hypnotize me, and ask me to become like the Dadas that are there, dressed in orange. I prepared myself and I went. I said goodbye to my family and I took a trip to India, not knowing if I would return or stay.
The founder of Prout welcomed me and said, “Are you ready?” “For what?” “To go to the monastery.” “I did not come here for the monastery, I came here to meet you and your school.” He said to me: “If you want to learn, to excel, you have to fly with two wings: the left wing and right wing. The material wing, the professional wing, is the right wing, and the other is the spiritual wing. We must learn to fly with two wings. Knowing where is north in your flight, knowing how to master your flight.” “Well, I’m not ready. I have to ask permission from my mom and dad, from the college, from all the people in my life. I’m not ready to enter a monastery.” I asked the man: “How long do I have to make a decision?” “You have 60 seconds right now, if you want to stay or go back.” And in 60 seconds I decided to stand by them. I became a monk like them. At that time the invitation was to go there.
And then I had the opportunity, the good fortune, to invite the founder of Prout to come to Venezuela in 1979. I was here giving lectures and I had the opportunity to invite that great host, the father of Prout, here to Venezuela. I had my office here in Central Park, and just like this, one thousand people came. The people who attended that meeting also had to prepare for at least six months, practicing ethics, morality, yoga, meditation and vegetarianism. Everyone asked me, and I asked everyone.
The theme that I’m really going to touch on today is how to be excellent, how to be successful in everything that you perform in your life. Normally it takes me sixteen hours to cover everything and I only have ten minutes, but I’ll give you a little sample. In the afternoon I will you invite to this workshop: “How to be Excellent.” The guidelines that Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar gave at that time, in 1979, were about human excellence, the seven keys to success. He spoke at that time about the seven keys to make an excellent human being, to be a successful man, a happy man.
The seven keys to success. He first said to prepare the ground. To plant you need a field. Normally the ground is not suitable for planting, you have to work it with a hoe and with a shovel, you have to prepare, sweat, so that the field is ready. Similarly, for human success, it is necessary to clear the mental field: there are many paradigms, many fears, many traumas, much sadness, and many beliefs that are not suitable for human excellence. You have to clean the mental field. It is necessary to have an adequate belief, to have a vision of life and to have the right mission.
Seven thousand years ago there was a teacher, a great yogi, who was asked a question by his wife, Parvati. Sadashiva is the father of yoga, the father of meditation, and is considered the father of medicine and the father of music and dance. Seven thousand years ago his wife asked, “Why are there so many people who make so much effort and yet their lives are never crowned with success, but a few people who make little effort manage to succeed and are successful?” Sadashiva said: “Because of a lack of knowledge, a lack of the seven keys to success, is why people fail.”
I imagine that everyone here is looking in the direction of human excellence. Human excellence refers to being successful and being happy. There are people who are successful and are unhappy, and some people are happy and are unsuccessful. No, I see many people who practice yoga, who practice meditation, people who are into metaphysics, engaged in a life of spiritual search. But when I see them on the street I see them with sunken shoulders, their neck and their spine slumped over and they walk like this, right? They live cleanly, but they’re always broke. How can we speak of the spiritual life, the keys to success and happiness, if we as people are not prepared for this? I have only two more minutes, so I’ll do a quick outline.
The second is called coherent goals, strong mental determination, precise and effective action, healthy body, holistic health, communication. Here are seven keys to success. One to five are called products. Success means having the best product on the market and the best packaging. Number six and seven are called packaging, because I see that many people have a good product, they are very spiritual, but the package, number six and seven, are too damaged. We cannot speak of success without the packaging. Let’s do a quick review, please. For me, the model for my method is Mr. Sarkar. Beliefs, compasses, sources of beliefs, family, religion, environment, school, friends, goals, you must have goals, you must have a teacher who is coherent to be successful.
The third is determination or will, you must have power, the power of steel. I remember when “Anandamurti”, or Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar was here. He said the key to success is people who are complete, who have will and determination, who do not hesitate and who do not say, “Let me see, let me see what Alfonso Leon says,” who say, “Let me consult the stars and see what the Tarot says.” These people never achieve success because they believe in luck, they believe in chance. Successful people are people who have a belief, right thought, right speech and right action.
[Translated by Spencer Bailey]
Panel 4 questions and answers.