Is there a power that can reveal hidden veins of riches and uncover treasures of which we never dreamed? Is there a force that we can call upon to give success, health, happiness, and spiritual enlightenment? The saints and sages of India taught that there is such a power.
Now, in this volume of all-new, never-before-released material, Paramhansa Yogananda—who has millions of followers around the world—shares how we can achieve the highest success with material and spiritual efficiency.
This is the fourth volume in The Wisdom of Yogananda series. The series features writings not available elsewhere. They capture the Master’s expansive and compassionate wisdom, his sense of fun, and his practical spiritual guidance.
The Wisdom of Yogananda series include writings from his earliest years in America, in an approachable, easy-to-read format. The words of the Master are presented with minimal editing, to capture the fresh and original voice of one of the most highly regarded spiritual teachers of the twentieth century.
The Attributes of Success (early version of The Law of Success)
What Is Your Aim in Life?
Eliminating Habits of Failure
Developing Habits of Success
Tools of Success
Success in the Workplace
Finding Your Vocation
How to Satisfy Your Employer
How to Select Your Business Associates
Stories of Success
“Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God”
“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.”
In this book Yogananda shows you how to develop the unlimited powers that come from innermost forces of your being. Paramhansa Yogananda came to the United States from India in 1920, bringing to the West the teachings and techniques of yoga, the ancient science of soul awakening. He was the first master of yoga to make his home in the West, and his Autobiography of a Yogi has become the bestselling autobiography of all time, awakening fascination in Westerners with the spiritual teachings of the East.
Yoga is the ancient science of redirecting one’s energies inward to produce spiritual awakening. In addition to bringing Americans the most practical and effective techniques of meditation, Yogananda showed how these principles can be applied to all areas of life.
The articles included in this book are taken from several sources: the lessons he wrote in the 1920s and 1930s, articles of his that appeared in Inner Culture and East West magazines published before 1943, and the booklet The Attributes of Success published in 1944. Most of what is included here is not available elsewhere.
Our goal in this book is to let the Master’s spirit come clearly through, with a minimum of editing. Sometimes sentences, redundant in the present context, have been deleted. Sometimes words or punctuation have been changed to clarify the meaning. Great care was taken not to change any of the original intention.
We hope you will use Yogananda’s words as stepping-stones to the success you are seeking.
Crystal Clarity Publishers
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:
- Choose a simple task or accomplishment that you have never mastered and determine to succeed in it.
- Be sure you have chosen something constructive and feasible, then refuse to consider failure.
- 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.
“Paramhansa Yogananda has been an ideal representative of the ancient sages and seers, the glory of India.”
—Swami Sivananda, founder of the Divine Life Society