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How to Be a Success

The Wisdom of Paramhansa Yogananda, Volume 4
by Paramhansa Yogananda

Chapter 1: The Attributes of Success

Is there a power that can reveal hidden veins of riches and uncover treasures of which we have never dreamed? Is there a force that we can call upon to give health, happiness, and spiritual enlightenment? The saints and sages of India taught that there is such a power. They uncovered truths that we have overlooked or forgotten, and these truths will work for you, too, if you give them a fair trial.

Your success in life does not depend only upon natural ability; it also depends upon your determination to grasp the opportunity that is presented to you. Opportunities in life come by creation, not by chance. They are created by you, either now or at some time in the recent or distant past. Since you have earned them, use them to the best advantage. You can make your life much more worthwhile, now and in the future, if you focus your attention on your immediate needs and use all your abilities and available information to fulfill them. You must develop all the powers that God gave you, the unlimited powers that come from the innermost forces of your being.

Your thoughts will inevitably bring you either to failure or to success—according to which thought is the strongest. Therefore, you must thoroughly believe in your own plans, use your talents to carry them out, and be receptive so that God can work through you. His laws work at all times, and you are always demonstrating success or failure, according to the kind of thoughts that you habitually entertain. If your trend of thought is ordinarily negative, an occasional positive thought is not enough to change the vibration to one of success.

Don't run after your problem constantly. Let it rest at times, and it may work itself out—but see that you do not rest so long that the whole proposition eludes you. Rather, use these periods when your mental and physical efforts are in abeyance to go deep into the calm region where your inner Self reigns. When you are attuned with your soul, you will be able to think correctly about everything you do; if your thoughts or actions have gone astray, they can be realigned.


The Dynamic Power of Will

Along with positive thinking, you must use will power and continuous activity in order to be successful. Everything that you see is the result of will, but this power is not always used consciously. There is mechanical will as well as conscious will. The dynamo of all our powers consists in volition, or will power. Without volition, we cannot walk, talk, work, think, or feel. In order not to use this energy, you would have to lie down and not move at all. Even when you move your hand, you are using will power. It is impossible to live without using this force, but it must be wisely directed to achieve success.

To create dynamic will power, determine to do some of the things in life that you thought you could not do. Attempt simple tasks first. Then, as your confidence strengthens and your will becomes more dynamic, you can undertake more difficult accomplishments. Be sure that you have made a good selection, then refuse to submit to failure. Devote your entire will power to accomplishing one thing at a time; do not scatter your energies or leave something half done to begin a new venture.

Use your will power to perfect yourself. You must depend more and more upon the mind because it is the creator of your body and your circumstances. Carrying a thought with dynamic will power means entertaining that thought until it assumes an outward form. When your will power develops that way, and when you can control your destiny by your will power, then you can do tremendous things.

I have just given you three important rules for making your will power dynamic:

  1. Choose a simple task or accomplishment that you have never mastered and determine to succeed in it.
  2. Be sure you have chosen something constructive and feasible, then refuse to consider failure.
  3. Concentrate on a single purpose, using all abilities and opportunities to forward it.

You must train yourself to use conscious, not mechanical, will, and you must be sure that your will power is used constructively, not for harmful purposes or trifling things. Always be sure that what you want is right for you to have, then use all the force of your will power to accomplish your object, always keeping your mind on God—the Source of all.


Life Energy and Will Power

The human brain is the storehouse of life energy. This energy is constantly being used in muscular movements, the working of the heart, lungs, diaphragm, cellular metabolism, chemicalization of blood, and in carrying on the telephonic sensory motor system of the nerves. Life energy is used by the mind, the emotions, and the body, for it is involved in all processes of thought, feeling, and physical activity. The greater the will, the greater the amount of energy in any body part.

One of the greatest enemies of will power is fear. Avoid it both in thought and in action. The life force that is flowing steadily through your nerves is squeezed out when the nerves become paralyzed by fear, and thus the body's vitality is diminished. Fear paralyzes your will power. When fear comes, the brain discharges the message to all the organs. It paralyzes the heart, disturbs the digestive forces, and causes many other physical disturbances. You must be cautious but never afraid.


See Also: Contents  Intro  

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