MHO 6-21. These questions were answered on 12 and 13 January 1993 at the Insular Hotel in Davao.
Question: When I make a resolution, how can I have the determination to follow through with it?
Sri Chinmoy: Is there anybody on earth who does not have that problem? My older brother Mantu's resolution is that he will never, never read the newspaper; he feels it is a waste of time. Every year his New Year's resolution is that he will not read the newspaper because it is all falsehood. Then early in the morning a friend or relative will stop by and say, "Did you hear such and such?" That is enough for him! Then my brother goes to the library and spends an hour and a half reading the newspaper.
You can keep your resolutions only by not seeing the past. Let us say you have failed to keep a particular resolution many, many times. Do not think of how many times you have failed; that has no value. Do not feel that you have been studying and failing this particular subject for many years and that the teacher is giving you chance after chance to study it again. No, you have to feel that you are learning a completely new subject. The subject you are studying, which is self-discipline, you are starting right now for the first time. If you can feel this, then the number of times that you have failed will go away from your mind. Otherwise, each time you fail, the depression, frustration or sadness that you feel becomes a heavy load, an elephant that you have to carry on your shoulders. Look at how many heavy loads you have been carrying around in your mind all these years! That is one of the reasons you are finding it difficult to keep your resolutions.
Another thing you have to know is that our determination to keep a resolution never depends on personal effort. We can say we will do it by hook or by crook. But even that hook and crook will only accomplish one per cent; for the rest we have to depend on God's Grace. And if we are sincere, even that one per cent that represents our personal effort we will say is all due to God's Grace. If we set the alarm clock in order to get up early in the morning to pray and meditate, then we have to feel that God's Grace is operating in and through the alarm. It is also due to God's Grace that we were inspired to set the alarm the previous night. Here God's Grace is coming in the form of inspiration and wisdom. Everything positive that we do comes from a higher Source, which is God's Grace and God's Compassion. An athlete may feel that if he practises very hard, then he will become the world's fastest runner or strongest boxer. But it is not like that. There are many athletes who perhaps practise more than Carl Lewis. So how is it that he is becoming number one? It is because God's Grace is operating in and through him, and he is more receptive than others. No amount of practice is enough without God's Grace.
God is all the time exercising or expressing His own Capacity, Compassion and Grace through human beings. But most of the time we human beings are not grateful to God. We should be grateful to God that He has kept us on the path, that He keeps us from time to time thinking of Him, praying to Him and meditating on Him, that He inspires us to offer our goodwill to mankind. Because human beings are not grateful enough to God, He is unable to make progress in and through us. Every human being has a vessel into which God wants to pour His Nectar-Delight, His Compassion, His Blessings and His Divinity. But, unfortunately, because of our life of ingratitude, instead of enlarging the vessel every day, we are making it smaller.
Each day we should express our gratitude to God for what we are. No matter how bad we are, we could have been infinitely worse. People think, "How can I become worse? Have I not touched the rock bottom?" No, I tell you, if God wants to, He can make you infinitely worse. When we suffer physically, vitally or mentally, we feel that it is the height of suffering. But if God wants to experience infinitely more suffering in and through us, He can. When we are not one with God's Will, we feel that we are suffering and that God is indifferent. But when we become one with God's Will, we see that it is God who is suffering in and through us.
Right now you may not be able to see God. But you can certainly feel God's Presence. If you can feel God's Presence inside you, then you can mould and shape your life into a more receptive and perfect instrument of God.