Excerpts from The Law of Success by Paramahansa Yogananda
Throughout his lifetime, Paramahansa Yogananda gave guidance on how to live a truly successful life—through the power of positive thinking, dynamic will, introspection, and meditation.
The Following are excerpts from his classic book, The Law of Success, to help start the New Year off with the clarity, courage and resolve to become what you want to be.
Your work in the world—in the sphere where your karma, your own past activity, has placed you—can be performed only by one person—yourself. And your work can be called a “success” only when in some way it serves your fellowman.
Don’t mentally review any problem constantly. Let it rest at times and it may work itself out; but see that you do not rest so long that your discrimination is lost. Rather, use these rest periods to go deep within the calm regions of your inner Self.
Mind is the creator of everything. You should therefore guide it to create only good. If you cling to a certain thought with dynamic will power, it finally assumes a tangible outward form. When you are able to employ your will always for constructive purposes, you become the controller of your destiny.
But you should always be sure, within the calm region of your inner Self, that what you want is right for you to have, and in accord with God’s purposes. You can then use all the force of your will to accomplish your object; keeping your mind, however, centered on the thought of God—the Source of all power and all accomplishment.
Learn to see God in all persons, of whatever race or creed. You will know what divine love is when you begin to feel your oneness with every human being, not before.
It is not your passing inspirations or brilliant ideas so much as your everyday mental habits that control your life. Habits of thought are mental magnets that draw to you certain things, people, and conditions.
Weaken a bad habit by avoiding everything that occasioned it or stimulated it, without concentrating upon it in your zeal to avoid it. Then divert your mind to some good habit and steadily cultivate it until it becomes a dependable part of you.
Until you are a true master, able to command yourself to do the things that you should do but may not want to do, you are not a free soul. In that power of self-control lies the seed of eternal freedom.
Attunement with the Divine Will is the most important factor in attracting success. Divine Will is the power that moves the cosmos and everything in it.
Since God is the source of all mental power, peace, and prosperity, do not will and act first, but contact God first. Thus you may harness your will and activity to achieve the highest goals.
Before embarking on important undertakings, sit quietly, calm your senses and thoughts, and meditate deeply. You will then be guided by the great creative power of Spirit. After that you should utilize all necessary material means to achieve your goal.
Happiness depends to some extent upon external conditions, but chiefly upon mental attitudes. In order to be happy one should have good health, a well-balanced mind, a prosperous life, the right work, a thankful heart, and, above all, wisdom or knowledge of God.
A strong determination to be happy will help you. Do not wait for circumstances to change, thinking falsely that in them lies the trouble. Do not make unhappiness a chronic habit, thereby affecting yourself and your associates. It is blessedness for yourself and others if you are happy. If you possess happiness you possess everything; to be happy is to be in tune with God. That power to be happy comes through meditation.
(Excerpts from The Law of Success Reprinted by permission. Self-Realization Fellowship, Los Angeles, Calif., yogananda.org)
Felicia Tomasko has spent more of her life practicing Yoga and Ayurveda than not. She first became introduced to the teachings through the writings of the Transcendentalists, through meditation, and using asana to cross-train for her practice of cross-country running. Between beginning her commitment to Yoga and Ayurveda and today, she earned degrees in environmental biology and anthropology and nursing, and certifications in the practice and teaching of yoga, yoga therapy, and Ayurveda while working in fields including cognitive neuroscience and plant biochemistry. Her commitment to writing is at least as long as her commitment to yoga. Working on everything related to the written word from newspapers to magazines to websites to books, Felicia has been writing and editing professionally since college. In order to feel like a teenager again, Felicia has pulled out her running shoes for regular interval sessions throughout Southern California. Since the very first issue of LA YOGA, Felicia has been part of the team and the growth and development of the Bliss Network.