Question: I have a bad habit of always being late for everything. I feel that I have the capacity to be on time, but somehow I do not give it enough attention. How can I make myself feel that it is important to be on time?

Sri Chinmoy: You have many, many world records to your credit. You know that when you want to break a new world record, many times you get the inner urge immediately to go outside and practise. Unless there is something else very urgent that you have to do, you do not delay for ten minutes. You do not say, "If I go ten minutes later or two hours later, nothing will happen, since it will still be light." No! When you give importance to something, you want to do it immediately. That is what makes you happy.

It is a question of how much you value your Guru's happiness. You say, "I am making my Guru happy by doing this and that for him." That is true, but ours is the philosophy of self-transcendence. You are satisfied with the fact that you are making me happy by doing the things that I am asking. But if you do these things sooner, then you will be able to make me happier. If you have the capacity to do something sooner than at once, why should you delay?

We believe in joy, but joy is a matter of degree. You say, "If I do this, Guru will be happy. If I do something else, he will be happier. If I do a different thing entirely, he will be the happiest." So what do you do? You do the thing that will make me the happiest. Similarly, you have to feel, "If I do something at seven o'clock, Guru will be happy. If I do it at six-thirty, Guru will be happier. If I do it at six o'clock, he will be the happiest." In that case, the degree is what matters. So if you value my happiest smile or my highest pride in you, then definitely you will do what I ask faster than the fastest. Otherwise, you can say, "I am satisfied as long as he is proud of me." But if you want to compare how happy I am or how proud of you I am when you do something quickly rather than slowly, then you have to know that there is no comparison.

In India, some students say, "As long as I can get 33 out of 100, I have passed my examination." If they get that silly passing grade, they are happy. Others will cry if they do not get 100 out of 100; even 99 is not enough for them. So if you want to be satisfied with the passing mark, what can I do? Again, if you are dying for the highest mark, absolutely 100 out of 100, what can prevent you from getting it? It is only your own lack of eagerness. When you get 100 out of 100, not only will your teacher be proud of you, but you also will be so proud of yourself.

You have to know what standard you want to maintain. For some disciples, it is more than enough if they can just remain in the boat. If they are sleeping and snoring, no harm! Other disciples are inspiring the boatman and helping the boat to go fast, faster, fastest.