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‘The Law of Success’ by the Indian sage Yogananda

I just read the little book ‘The Law of Success’ by the Indian monk, yogi and guru P. Yogananda. It is truly wonderful as it condenses the path to Self Realization, what true success means & how to achieve it – and what really a fulfilled life is all about. All in such simple, short but truly powerful premises! (Although simple they surely take a life time (or many) to master). I paraphrase these premises below and add my take on it. Enjoy!!

My divine birthright

  1. The Lord [Higher Self] created me in His image. I will seek Him first, and make sure of my actual contact with Him, then, if it be his will, may all things – wisdom, abundance, health – be added as part of my divine birthright.
  2. I want success without measure, not from earthly sources but from God’s [Higher Self] all possessing, all powerful, all bountiful hands.

My take: We are divine spiritual beings having a human experience. If we remember that connection and align ourselves with our Higher Self, success manifests.

The Law of Success

  • Success does not altogether depend on ability and training but on your determination to grasp opportunities that are presented to you.
  • You yourself, either now or in the past (including former lives) have created all opportunities that arise in your path.
  • If you use all available outward means & your natural abilities to overcome every obstacle in your path, you will thus develop the powers that God [Higher Self] gave you.

My take: You create it all consciously or unconsciously. Therefore any obstacle can be overcome and limitless opportunities exist once you wake up to it.

The Power of Thought

  • Success or failure depend on your habitual trend of thought. If you think rightly, you will find your goal.
  • You alone are responsible for yourself. No one else may answer for your deeds when the final reckoning comes. Your work in the world can be performed only by 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. Rest at times and it may work itself out, but not so long that your discrimination is lost. Us the rest to go deep within the calm region of your inner Self. Attuned with your soul, you will be able to think correctly regarding everything you do.

My take: Your thoughts create your life experience and perception of reality, every single bit. You are solely responsible for your actions and suffer or benefit the karmic consequences. Balance between critical thinking and inner guidance / intuition is required. Freedom relies on taking responsibility on all aspects of your life and transcend egoic motivation.

Will is the dynamo

  • To be successful use positive thinking, will power and continuous activity
  • Every outward manifestation is the result of will, but this power is not always used consciously. There is mechanical will and conscious will.
  • The dynamo of all your powers is volition or will power. The spring of all your actions.
  • Mechanical will is an unthinking use of will power. Conscious will is vital force accompanying determination and effort, to be used wisely and constructively – and not for harmful purposes or useless acquisitions.
  • To create dynamic will power, determine to do things in life you thought you couldnt do. Attempt simple tasks first. Be certain that you have made a good selection, then refuse to submit to failure.
  • Devote your entire will power to mastering one thing at a time, do not scatter your energies, nor leave something half done to begin a new venture.

My take: There are unconscious and conscious inputs to be manifested into reality by your subconscious mind. Discover unconscious impulses & inputs and then apply will to what you consciously want for a higher good (true end result). Lack of will power will lead to manifesting unconscious impulses = compensations of your limiting beliefs. Once a true end result is defined take action and continue until achieved. Fear is an illusion anyway.

You can control destiny

  • 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 employ your will always for constructive purposes, you become the controller of your destiny
  • The 3 important ways to make your will dynamic:
    • Choose a simple task or an accomplishment that you have never mastered and determine to succeed with 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
  • 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 divine purpose. You can then use all the force of your will to accomplish your object. Keeping your mind centered on the thought of God [Higher Self].

My take: Belief & mind creates reality. To change physical life, you must change the mind/thoughts. However, its not just about creating anything for the sake of it, but to align to you Higher Self and to create what you are here for – for a higher good.

Fear exhausts life energy

  • The human brain is a storehouse of life energy. Besides physical functions all process of thought, emotion and will require tremendous amounts of life energy.
  • Fear exhausts life energy, it is one of the greatest enemies of dynamic will power. It causes nerves to become paralyzed and lowered vitality of the whole body.
  • Fear doesnt help you to get away from the object of fear, it only weakens your will power, constricts the heart, digestive functions and many other physical disturbances.
  • When the consciousness is kept on God [Higher Self] you will have no fears, every obstacle will then be overcome by courage and faith.
  • A ‘wish’ is a desire without energy. After wish may come ‘intention’ – the plan to do something, to fulfill a wish or desire. But ‘will’ means: ‘I act until I get my wish’. When you exercise your will power you release the power of life energy – NOT when you merely wish passively to be able to obtain an objective.

My take: Its about acknowledging your fears, doubt etc (not suppressing them otherwise you give them power) but then focussing on the truth, your powers, your creative abilities and what you truly want. By that you take the power away from fear. Aligned with your Higher Self you can overcome all obstacles, however you must follow through: Thoughts, emotions and actions aligned!

Failures should arouse determination

  • Failures should act as stimulants to your will power and to your material and spiritual growth.
  • When you failed, analyze every factor in the situation in order to eliminate all chances in the future that you might repeat the same errors.
  • The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success. Always try once more, no matter how many times you have failed. Fight when you think that you can fight no longer, or when you think that you have already done your best, or until your efforts are crowned with success.
  • New efforts after failure bring true growth. But they must be well planned and charged with increasing intensity of attention and with dynamic will power.
  • It is better to die struggling than to abandon your efforts while there is still a possibility of accomplishing something more, for even when death comes, your struggles must soon be renewed in another life.
  • Success or failure is the just result of what you have done in the past, plus what you do now. So you should stimulate all the success thoughts of past lives until they are revitalized and able to overrule the influence of all failure tendencies in the present life.
  • You should transfer your attention from failure to success, from worry to calmness, from mental wanderings to concentration, from restlessness to peace, and from peace to the divine bliss within. When you attain this state of Self realization the purpose of your life will have been gloriously fulfilled.

My take: If you dont try, youll never learn something and never get somewhere. Only staying in the comfort zone and not trying anything is failure, otherwise failure doesn’t exist if you learn from it and recalibrate with new gained insights towards what is true for you and what you want. Experiencing through failure is part of life lessons, which guide us towards deeper understanding of the different aspects of life. Overcoming failure makes us resilient. You create it all. Failures and successes, therefore its your choice what you focus on. Seeing failures as steps towards success. Never stop trying.

The need for self analysis

  • Introspection is a mirror in which to see recesses of your mind that otherwise would remain hidden from you.
  • Diagnose your failures and sort out your good and bad tendencies.
  • Analyze what you are, what you wish to become and what shortcomings are impeding you.
  • Decide the nature of your true task – your mission in life
  • Endeavour to make yourself what you should be and what you want to be.
  • As you keep your mind God [Higher Self] and attune yourself to His will, you will progress more and more surely in your path.
  • Your ultimate purpose is to find your way back to God [Higher Self], but also have a task to perform in the outer world. Will power, combined with initiative, will help you to recognize and fulfill that task.

My take: Introspection and understanding why you do the things you do, who you are, what you really want to do in this life, the purpose you came here fore are key to develop a deeper understanding of self and reconnect with your Higher Self. Both are important, alignment with your Higher Self but also your lifes purpose. Only introspection can lead you there.

The creative power of initiative

  • Initiative is a creative faculty within you a spark of the infinite creator.
  • It may give you the power to create something no one else has ever created
  • It urges you to do things in new ways.
  • The accomplishments of a person of initiative may be as spectacular as a shooting star. Creating something from nothing, demonstrating that the seemingly impossible may become possible by one’s employment of the great inventive power of the spirit.
  • initiative enables you to stand on your own feet, free and independent. It is one of the attributes of success.

My take: We are all Geniuses with limitless creative abilities and potential. We are all powerful creators determined to life freely contributing our unique insights and unique gifts to the world.

See the image of god in all men

  • Many people excuse their own faults but judge other persons harshly. We should reverse this attitude by excusing others shortcomings and by harshly examining our own.
  • Sometimes its necessary to analyze other people, then its important to keep the mind unprejudiced. An unbiased mind is like a clear mirror, held steady, not oscillating with hasty judgements.
  • 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.
  • In mutual service we forget the little self and glimpse the one measureless self, the spirit that unifies all men

My take: We are all connected and from the same source. Divine spark is in everyone. While in the 3D domain setting boundaries is important and we don’t need to have understanding for everyone, from a higher perspective we all have the right to do what we want and to experience to consequences of our actions and also understand that each one of us experiences life through a subjective perspective based on personal beliefs, conditioning and experience. There is nothing personal about it.

Habits of thought control one’s life

  • success is hastened or delayed by one’s habits
  • Its not your passing inspirations or brilliant ideas but your everyday mental habits that control your life
  • Habits of thought are mental magnets that draw to you certain things, people and conditions.
  • Good habits of thought enable you to attract benefits and opportunities. Bad habits of though attract you to materially minded persons and to unfavorable environments.
  • Weaken a bad habit by avoiding everything that accasioned it or stimulated it, withouth conecntrating 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.
  • There are 2 forces waring afainst each other within us. One force tells us to do the things w should not do, the other urges us to do the things we should do. One voice is that of evil, the other is that of good or God [Higher Self].
  • Bad habits nourish the tree of unending material desires, while good habits nourish the tree of spiritual aspirations. More and more you should concentrate your efforts on successfully maturing the spiritual tree, that you may someday gather the ripe fruit of self realization.
  • If you free yourself from all kinds of bad habits, ad if youdo good because you want to do good and not merely because evil brings sorrow, then you are truly progressing in spirit.
  • It is only when you discard your bad habits that you are really a free man. 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.
  • Important attributes to success: Positive thought, dynamic will, self analysis, intitiative and self control. 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

My take: Your thoughts create reality. Beliefs > Emotions > Thoughts > Decisions > Actions > Reality. Therefore examine and understand where they come from (underlying beliefs), change when not appropriate from a higher perspective of whats true to you, and will that into reality. Take the power from unconscious impulses by becoming conscious of them, and by using your will send your power into what you consciously want to think and create.

Power of divine will

  • Divine Will has no boundaries, it works through laws known and unknown, natural and seemingly miraculous. It can change the course of destiny, wake the dead, cast mountains into the sea and create new solar systems.
  • Man, as an image of God, possesses within him that all-accomplishing power of will. To discover through right meditation how to be in harmony with the Divine Will is mans highest obligation.
  • When guided by error, human will misleads us, but when guided by wisdom, human will is attuned to the Divine Will.

My take: Literally everything is possible. 3D reality is materialized consciousness. If you align with your Higher Self and remember who you are, you can then be guided to live life in harmony and with purpose.

From the ocean of abundance

  • In order to receive His gifrs from boundless abundance you must eradicate from your mind all thoughts of limitation and poverty. Univeral Mind is perfect and knows no lack, to reach that never failing supply you must maintain a consciousness of abundance. When you do your part and rely on God [Higher Self] to to His, you will find that mysterious forces come to your aid and that your constructive wishes soon materialize.
  • This confidence and consciousness of abundance are attained through meditation.
  • Since God [Higher Self| is the source of all mental power, peace, and prospertiy, do not will and act first, but contact God first.

My take: Again everything is possible. However, to stop suffering we must learn to listen to our Higher Self, and align with it and stop egoic motivation.

The way of meditation

  • By the power of concentration and meditation you can direct the inexhaustible power of your mind to accomplish what you desire and to guard every door against failure. All successful men and women devote much time to deep concentration.
  • If you learn how to withdraw your attention from all objects of distraction and to place it upon one object of concentration, you too will know how to attract at will whatever you need.
  • Before undertaking 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.
  • The things you need in life are those that will help to fulfill your dominant purpose. Things you may want but not need may lead you aside from that purpose. It is only by making everything serve your main objective that success is attained.

My take: Meditation is important. However, not all meditation is equal and not all meditation serves your purpose. The intention of your meditation is above all important. Who do you connect with and what do you seek. Is it your Higher Self and you seek to align with it, your life will become guided and effortless. Though that might be different to what you ego wants.

Success is measured by happiness

  • What is success? If you possess health and wealth, but have trouble with everybody (including yourself) yours is not a successful life. When wealth is lost, you have lost a little, when health is lost, you have lost something of more consequence, but when peace of mind is lost, you have lost the highest treasure.
  • Success should therefore be measured by happiness, by your ability to remainin peaceful harmony with cosmic laws. Success is not rightly measure by the worldly standards of wealth, prestige and power. None of these bestow happiness unless they are rightly used. To use them rightly one must possess wisdom and love for God and man.
  • God [Higher Self] does not reward or punish you. He has given you the power to reward or punish yourself by the use or misuse of your own reason and will power. If you transgress the laws of health, prosperity, and wisdom you must inevitably suffer from sickness, poverty and ignorance.
  • However, you should strengthen your mind and refuse to carry the burden of mental and moral weaknesses acquired in past years, burn them in the fires of your present divine resolutions and right activities. By this constructive attitude you will attain freedom.
  • 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 [Higher Self].
  • A strong determination to be happy will help you. Do not wait for your cirumstances to change, thinking falsely that in them lies the trouble. Do not make unhappiness a chronic habit, thereby afflicting yourself and your associates. If you possess happiness you possess everything, to be happy is to be in tune with God [Higher Self]. That power to be happy comes through meditation.

My take: Who we are (Spiritual Beings) and our inner experience is far more important than what we do and have (health and wealth). Contrary to societies programming: Have > Do > Be. Happiness can only come from the inside. Its not dependant on outside circumstances.

Put Gods [Higher Self] power behind your efforts

  • Release for constructive purposes the power you already have, and more will come. Move on your path with unflinching determination using all the attributes of success. Tune yourself with the creative power of spirit. you will be in contact with the infinite intellligence that is able to guide you and to solve all problems. Power from the dynamic Source of your being will flow uninterruptedly so that you will be able to perform creatively in any sphere of activity.
  • Sit in silence before deciding about any important matter, asking the Father [Higher Self] for his blessing. Then behind your power is Gods power, behind your mind, his mind, behind your will, his will. When God [Higher Self] is working with you, you cannot fail, every faculty you possess will increase in power. When you do your work with the thought of serving God [Higher Self], you receive His blessings.
  • If your work in life is humble, do not apologize for it. Be proud because you are fulfilling the duty given you by the Father [Higher Self]. So long as you work to please God [Higher Self] all cosmic forces will harmoniously assist you.
  • When you convince God [Higher Self] that you want Him above all else, you will be attuned to His will. When you continue to seek Him not matter what obstacles arise to take you aways from Him, you are using your human will in its most constructive form. You will thus operate the law of success that was known to the ancient sages and that is understood by all men who have achieved true success.
  • The divine power is yours if you can make a determined effort to use it to attain health, happiness and peace. As you encompass these goals you will travel on the path of self realization to your true home in God [Higher Self].

My take: Align yourself with your Higher Self, your inner highest guidance. And put that above your (egoic) will. Then you can self realize.


  • Heavenly Father [Higher Self], I will reason, I will will, I will act, but guide thou my reason, will, and activity to the right thing that I should do.

Im curious to hear, what is your take on it? Let me know in the comments!

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