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National Youth Day – Ten Life Lessons From Swami Vivekananda

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January 12 is observed as National Youth Day in India since 1985 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. Vivekananda played a crucial role in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world. He played a significant role in reshaping the western perspective of India as well as in spreading knowledge on the foundation of Hinduism. He also contributed to the concept of nationalism in colonial India.
National Youth Day aims to promote brotherhood, civility, calm, courage, spirituality amongst the young populace in India. In fact, the government of India believed that the philosophy of Swamiji and the ideals for which he lived and worked could be a great source of inspiration for the Indian youth.
Following are ten quotes by Swami Vivekananda which serve as an inspiration to our countrymen, especially to the younger citizens.

On Perseverance

“To succeed, you must have tremendous perseverance, tremendous will. ‘I will drink the ocean’, says the persevering soul, ‘at my will mountains will crumble up.’ Have that sort of energy, that sort of will, work hard, and you will reach the goal.”

On Hard Work

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, and live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success; that is way great spiritual giants are produced.”

On Achieving Success

“The great secret of true success, of true happiness, is this: the man or woman who asks for no return, the perfectly unselfish person, is the most successful.”

On Failures

“Never mind the struggles, the mistakes. I never heard a cow tell a lie, but it is only a cow— never a man. So never mind these failures, these little backslidings; hold the ideal a thousand times, and if you fail a thousand times, make the attempt once more.”

On Strength

“Stand up, be bold, be strong. Take the whole responsibility on your own shoulders, and know that you are the creator of your own destiny. All the strength and succour you want is within yourself.”

On Self-Belief

“All power is within you; you can do anything and everything. Believe in that, do not believe that you are weak; do not believe that you are half-crazy lunatics, as most of us do nowadays. You can do anything and everything, without even the guidance of anyone. Stand up and express the divinity within you.”

On Humility

“Do not be afraid of a small beginning. Great things come afterwards. Be courageous. Do not try to lead your brethren, but serve them. The brutal mania for leading has sunk many a great ships in the waters of life. Take care especially of that, i.e. be unselfish even unto death, and work.”

On Ideals

“Fill the brain with high thoughts, highest ideals, place them day and night before you and out of that will come great work.”

On Politics

“I hate cowardice; I will have nothing to do with cowards or political nonsense. I do not believe in any politics. God and truth are the only politics in the world, everything else.”

On Thoughts

“We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.”

On Problems

“In a day, when you don’t come across any problems – you can be sure that you are travelling in a wrong path.”