Courage - spiritual work requires deep courage.
I talk about courage very often, one of the main ingredients in spiritual work and what I teach is the courage. It takes a lot of courage to go to places that you haven't been that are contrary to your belief, to your thoughts, to everything that you were or are all your life. It takes tremendous amount of courage to go against your grain so you can unravel new aspects of oneself.
That's where most people fail miserably, they run for their life, they'd rather hold on to their image of themselves: nice guy or lovely guy or generous guy or big-hearted guy, than go past it. It takes a lot of guts. I mean, without real deep, true greed, you can't do the spiritual work because what will happen is you will come to a level where there's a stop sign.
You will have to want to go into the unknown, you will have to let go of everything you think you are or you are not. You will have to let go of all of your preconceived ideas of who you are. It is scary, there's no doubt because you look at yourself where you start and you see where you are now and you say: “Hell, that's not the same person."
And that's kind of frightening in many ways because it's not life circumstances that have changed you and made you more ferocious or more determined or more this or more angry or more that. It's not that, it is the inner change that happened inside. It's like a glove being taken inside out and to do that takes a lot, a lot of courage. And you must respect the need that you have for spiritual growth, the need has to be there, but once you have this need you have to have the courage to implement it, and you implement it by going to the other side of yourself.
Otherwise, you're playing games. Otherwise, you will have a constant pregnancy. It’s like being on a seven month for the rest of your life. Ask any woman, try to find one who would want that. If you want a child coming out, you have to do that, you have to go past yourself, past who you think you are and what you are. You have to have courage to do that.
You know, it’s a minimal result, to a very, very hard effort. It takes hard effort to do what we do. It's not easy, sitting every day, breaking yourself down, allowing all the crap to come up and looking -- it's not easy stuff, but after all that not jumping into the unknown. You get a very, very miserable result to an extremely hard work.
So, it's all about courage, true grit, one that you don't go through your mouth, it doesn't happen because you talk, it happens because it's between you and God, and you have the courage. You must have the courage to make this new step not because life circumstances: you lose your money, so you have to get suddenly very thrifty, life circumstances made you more thrifty. That's one thing of change, but this is changing to implement upon yourself for one reason: because you want to grow. Self-imposed change is very different from changes that we go through in our life because of life circumstances.
So, really, it's the battlefield of truth, it is the talk in the Bhagavad Gita. This is the battlefield of truth between you and you.
It's like, I know with myself, I was so hungry, wanted so much more, I didn't know what to do, I was like a madman for 13 years, trying to do everything, what can I do more? What can I do more? I realize how small I was and how much work there is in life. The moment you realize that you can't stop, you're tenacious, your hunger is beyond any restrictions. I wake up in the morning and I say: “What day is it?” Like a painter who has a new canvas. “How am I going to paint this day? How would it help me grow this day?”
I never start a day thinking how much money would I make today? Even when I had no money at all, I never started the day like that. “How much would I sell today?” I only started: “How can I grow today? What can I do to deepen my inner life?”