Question: Some things take a long time to accomplish in the outer world. How can we be sure that we are exercising patience and not developing complacency?

Sri Chinmoy: Sometimes we think that because a goal is so high, so sublime, we can take a long time. That is the Himalayan mistake we make. We think, “My God! It is such a difficult task! Let it take its own time — four years, five years or even six years — because it is such a great, difficult thing.” But we have no idea at what point lethargy is entering into our mind. If we are working hard every day, every hour and, at the same time, if we have patience, we will say, “Today I am not getting it. Tomorrow I will get it. If tomorrow I do not get it, then the day after tomorrow I will get it.” But unfortunately, after a few weeks or a few months or a year, that intensity is not there. If intensity is absent for some time, then willingness and even readiness go away. At that time, we enjoy our own way of life. Previously we were trying very sincerely, very devotedly to accomplish something. We felt, “I am trying very hard. Today I am not getting it, but tomorrow I will.”

A farmer ploughs the ground with the same sincerity today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Then the seed germinates, and he gets a bumper crop. In our life also, we have to know that God has given us the necessary amount of patience. But if we do not use it, lethargy, complacency and other undivine qualities enter into us and we justify them by saying that our goal is something very significant, very important. We say that Rome was not built in one day. If that kind of idea enters into our mind, then we are simply fooling ourselves. The goal may be very high or very far, but we have to maintain the same speed from day to day. If one day we slacken our speed, the next day we have to increase our speed in order to compensate.