The sixth element of Eightfold Path is the Right Effort. It is “正精進” in Japanese. Translating directly, this means a right diligence, devotion, or discipline.
To fulfill your discipline, you need a right custom. The power of right custom creates not only health, but also you can accumulate small successes day by day. Finally, it becomes a great success for you. This is a story that some discipline asked to his master, “Why do you have so strong mind and power of will?” Master answered “I don’t have such things. Since I don’t have those power, that’s why I always keep my right custom. Once you establish your right custom, you don’t need a strong power and will to control you. Your right custom leads you to do right things. After all, it will become as simple as you brush your teeth every day without effort. Right custom creates great works for you.
Right effort is exactly the law of cause and effect itself. You sow a seed and water it then it flowers. A good seed yields a good result, a bad seed yields a bad result. If you make good efforts, they result good fruits. It is indeed under control of the law of cause and effect. Sometimes it doesn’t give us good results in this lifetime, it is called ijyuku (異熟) “different result”.
Recently it happened to my daughter. To get a driver license, she practiced so hard and she passed the test. However due to the visa issue she couldn’t get a driver license. She was so upset about it. It seems like her efforts are wasted because she couldn’t get a good result in spite of her hard training.
Eventually this case is not rare, right? Your efforts and results are not equally transmitted in this world. But beyond this world it is always true. Your perspiration manifests always true fruit.
What is success? In this world a result is not always success for you. Instead of getting happiness through a successful result let’s think process of making effort is our success, and effort is happiness. It must be true thinking in this world.