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. Suppose the runner has to run one hundred metres to reach the goal. 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. So, relaxation comes. For ten or twenty metres, his speed decreases considerably. Then he sees that some other runners are coming or he realises that his speed has fallen, so again he starts running the fastest. But once the starter has fired the gun, if the runner from the beginning to the end maintains top speed, then only is he able to win the race. Or, let us say, only then will he really be pleased with his speed, proud of his speed.

In your case it is the same. Your difficulty is that when you do something well, you feel that you deserve some relaxation. Today you do wonderful meditation, and then you feel, "Oh, since today I had a wonderful meditation, tomorrow I can relax," You feel that your meditation will maintain the same speed, but it doesn't. There are some disciples who have come with great aspiration, great eagerness. Then after two months or two years or six years, they relax. They relax to such an extent that they forget their goal. In the spiritual life we progress gradually; this is true. But during the gradual process, we can maintain the same type of aspiration. The runner is running five miles. But he maintains his speed right from the beginning. He is going on, going on, going on; he is not slowing down.

Every day that you meditate, you have to feel is your last day. Feel that tomorrow you are going to die. If you fail today, then zero will be your mark; you are out of the race. Feel that if you don't realise God today, then you are doomed; you will have to wait for another five thousand years, let us say. If you do this, then your sincerity will come to the fore.

The teacher will give you only two hours to complete your examination. Then the examination will be over. While the teacher is giving you the examination paper today, please don't feel that tomorrow again the teacher will give you the same examination. The past is gone. The future does not exist. There is only the present. "Here in the present, either I have to be totally divine or I will remain undivine as I was yesterday. So, since I want to become divine, let me do the right thing here and now." This should be our attitude.

You come to the station and see that a train is there. But you do not want to enter the train at this time. You know that in ten or fifteen minutes another train will come, so you don't feel any necessity to enter into this train. But if you have the attitude that one day, at a particular hour, you will enter into the train, then you will never enter. If you feel, "Oh, now I am twenty-eight; at the age of seventy-eight I will realise God," this will never happen. You should make yourself feel that today is the last day for you to achieve everything that you are supposed to achieve. If you fail today, then tomorrow again you have to feel that this is your last day. No matter how many times you fail, each day you should feel is your last. But if you feel that opportunity will come back and knock at your door tomorrow, then today you will not try. You will waste your aspiration or feel that you don't need aspiration, because you have so many tomorrows. But I tell you, before these tomorrows come, everything will be gone.