Question: How can we maintain a good standard consistently, instead of going up and down?

Sri Chinmoy: Please feel that every day is equally important. It is like this. Suppose a runner has to run one hundred metres in order to reach his goal. Now, after covering twenty metres at top speed, he feels that since he is running so fast, he is going to reach the goal in a second. Then relaxation comes. Then for ten or twenty metres if you watch his time, you will see that his speed has decreased considerably. Then again if he sees that some other runners are approaching him, if he comes to realise that his speed has fallen, at that time again he starts to run the fastest. But if the runner knows that once the starter has fired the gun, from the beginning to the end he has to maintain top speed, then only is he able to win the race; or, let us say he will really be pleased with his speed, he will be proud of his speed.

In the spiritual life, what happens? Today you have done wonderful meditation and then you feel, "Oh, since today I have done such wonderful meditation, tomorrow I can relax." You feel that with today's meditation you will maintain the same speed tomorrow, but it does not happen in that way. Tomorrow again you have to make yourself feel that your new achievement has to be tremendous. Our difficulty is that when we do something well, we feel that we deserve some relaxation; otherwise, our satisfaction does not dawn. Satisfaction first dawns for us when we do something well and then when we don't do anything at all, we feel that still we deserve the same result. It is our due. But every day when we meditate, we have to feel that this is the last day for us. Tomorrow we are going to die. We know that we are in the Heart of the Eternal Supreme, the Infinite, but we have to feel that today is the last day for us to aspire, absolutely the last day. Today if we fail, then we will get zero. We will be out of the race. Then, when tomorrow comes, again we have to feel, "Today if I don't realise God, then I am gone. I am doomed. I shall have to wait for another five thousand years." This way if you aspire, then your sincerity will come to the fore. Always make yourself feel that today is absolutely the last day for your God-realisation.

The hour has struck. The teacher will give you only two hours to complete your examination. In two hours' time, even if you cannot complete your papers, still the examination is over. Then tomorrow, again you sit for the examination and you feel that tomorrow is the last day. But today while the teacher is giving you the examination, please don't feel that tomorrow again the teacher will give the same examination, that tomorrow again you will have the time to complete the examination. Once the teacher stands in front of you, feel that today is the last day. Either you pass or you fail. Today if you fail, then don't feel that tomorrow again you will sit for the examination. Absolutely forget about today's job. The past is gone. It is dead. You don't have to think about the future. Feel that the future also does not exist. If the future does not exist, if the past does not exist, then what exists for us? We have only the present. Here in the present we have to be either totally divine or we shall remain undivine, as we were yesterday. So, since we want to become divine, let us do the right thing. Let us make ourselves fit instruments. We have only today. Then again, when tomorrow comes. with a new hope we can say that today is a new day for us.

Always say, "Today is the only chance I have, absolutely the last chance." Then you are bound to get a good meditation. Otherwise, there is no goal. If you feel, "Oh, now I am only twenty-eight. At the age of seventy-eight I will realise God," then you will never realise God. Perhaps at the age of thirty or forty God will call you to the other side. When the time comes for you to go to the other world, whether you are seventy, eighty or ninety, it is up to God, you have to go. You don't know when it will be, so you should make yourself feel that today is the last day for you to achieve everything that you are supposed to achieve. Then, today if you fail, tomorrow again you have to feel that you have the same opportunity. But if you feel that the opportunity will again come and knock at your door, then you are lost. Today if you waste your aspiration or if you feel that you don't need aspiration because you have so many tomorrows, I tell you, before many tomorrows come, everything will be gone. But if today is the last day, then your sincerity, your aspiration, all your divine qualities will come to the fore. You want to reach the goal, you want to run so you will definitely reach the goal.