You are worthy of the highest respect. You are noble leaders who are praised and protected by Nichiren Daishonin and the Buddhas and bodhisattvas of the ten directions. Right now you may be unknown. You may have no money. You may be laughed at and ridiculed by people ignorant of the Daishonin's Buddhism. But when viewed from the perspective of the eternity of life you are all supreme victors, people who will achieve unsurpassed success in life. There is no doubt that in future existences each of you will enjoy an expansive life-condition far surpassing that of presidents, business tycoons or eminent scholars. Nichiren Daishonin assures us of this in his writings. If it were not true the Daishonin would be a liar. And that just isn't possible. The Daishonin never lies. (7/11/99) One kind of actual proof of victory in daily life is financial security. I hope, therefore, as you accumulate bountiful treasures of the heart and much good fortune, that you will also become secure financially. As long as we are living and working in society, having a certain amount of financial security is an important element for happiness. (9/26/93) The second Soka Gakkai president, Josei Toda, used to say, even though your wallet may be empty, there is an abundance of money floating about in the world—it just hasn't come your way, that's all! But, he would continue, if you accumulate good fortune, using it to "drill a hole" into that vast reservoir of money and tap some for yourself, you will never have to be wanting. (9/26/93) A tree doesn't grow strong and tall within one or two days. In the same way, successful people didn't get to where they are in only one or two years. This applies to everything. (DOY 1, ch. 8) In too many cases, acquiring fame, status or wealth alters a person's character. It is as though the person turns into a pup-pet of fame or wealth. How can human beings live in accordance with their unchanging innermost self and not be affected by these influences? Herein lies the battle of human life; such is the path believers in the Mystic Law must follow. (1/6/91) Success is not a matter of accumulating more of this or that; it is not measured in quantity. It means changing the quality of your life. Wealth, power, fame and knowledge alone can-not make you happy, no matter how much of these you ac-quire. Nor can you take them with you when you die. But by improving the quality of your life you will at last approach true happiness. (3/5/97) The only way to succeed is by first bringing to completion that which is most immediate. This principle applies in all affairs—in our daily lives, our work and our families, as well as in the progress of kosen-rufu. (2/17/90) Buddhist scriptures describe secular millionaires as being of a good family, possessing wealth, having dignity; being pure in their actions, exhibiting proper manners and enjoying great prestige. In accordance with the teaching that "all laws are the Buddhist Law," it is worthwhile for us to strive to acquire the virtues of these millionaires. I hope that, basing yourselves on faith, you will become wealthy people of virtue and influence who are widely respected. (2/18/90) What is success in life? Who are the truly successful? There are famous and powerful people who become pitiful figures in their old age. There are people who die alone, feeling empty and desolate inside. Just what is success? The English thinker Walter Pater (1839—94) wrote: "To burn always with this hard, gemlike flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life." The person who lives life fully, glowing with life's energy, is the person who lives a successful life. (3/5/97) Such things as money, fame and material possessions offer fleeting satisfactions that can be called relative happiness. However, when we transform our lives internally, when we develop within ourselves a brilliant inner palace, then we can be said to have established absolute happiness. (DOY 2, ch. 20) A person of success in the true sense is one who can enjoy a free and unrestrained state of life. (2/18/90) You who have embraced this great Law are millionaires rich in life force who possess good fortune surpassing the wealth of even the world's richest people. Material possessions can-not be enjoyed after death. But "millionaires rich in life force" can freely make use of the treasures of the universe in lifetime after lifetime and enjoy a journey of eternal happiness. (2/18/90) Worldly success is not equivalent to true happiness. Achieving this requires that we have a profound understanding of the nature of life. There is much truth to the words of Benjamin Franklin that "success has ruined many a man." (2/18/90) There is nothing wrong with being successful in society and enjoying a degree of fame. But ultimately, the lives of those dedicated to the welfare and happiness of others, even if they remain unrecognized, are the ones truly worthy of respect. (DOY 1,ch.2) Daisaku Ikeda