Building the Power of Perseverance


For about 15 years I have never been consistent. I start to do something, but give it up half way. I have never completed anything that I started enthusiastically;This is a huge obstacle to my spiritual progress. Please give me some suggestions to overcome this problem.

—Anitha, India


Dear Anitha,

To make it easy, I am trying to give you a clear course to follow, a practical step by step procedure.


The first step you have already taken: awareness. You have indentified a habit, a pattern, “grooves in the record of memory cells” (to quote Yogananda). You also have become aware that not being consistent represents a “huge obstacle.” Great. A bird realizing it is in a cage has made a big step toward freedom.


The second step too you have taken, it seems, deciding “I want to get out of it!” It may seem redundant to say this, but I have seen that people at times don’t get out of their grooves simply because deep down they don’t really want to get rid of their weakness. In your case, leaving things half done is much easier than plowing through to the end. So your necessary resolution would be to do whatever is needed to be victorious in this inner transformation: “Yes, I am determined!”


Then you are ready for the third step: coming up with a strategy for this battle. The central elements involved here, it seems, are will power and perseverance. Don’t believe enthusiasm will always be with you, don’t depend on it. In every undertaking there is a certain amount of dull routine. And that’s exactly your training ground.

Your strategy might be this (using Swami Kriyananda’s words): “Set yourself specific tasks to accomplish – small ones at first, then increasingly challenging ones. Be sure to see each one through to completion.”


The crucial part is this: “Be sure to see each one through to completion.” Make it a life priority and never give up. Yogananda says “to carry out one’s resolutions is a constant battle. It is good to resolve to do a thing and then follow through. You must develop a strong, silent, cool will.” Give it your all.


If you have completed something, congratulate yourself to that victory, and celebrate in some way. Treat yourself to something. Then think about the next task to tackle. Again keep at it till you’ve accomplished it. Try to make it a fun process, not a grim one. If it inspires you, do it for God: “Lord, I am doing this for You, to get to You.”

Daily Sadhana


The inner element you are trying to strengthen is earth. A good yoga posture to include in your daily sadhana would be the Firm Pose, Vajrasana, meditating on the thought that you are a rock: immovable, stable, firm. Affirm these qualities in your self, repeating mentally: “I am steadfast, determined, unshakably loyal to my decisions.”


After meditation try this one, by Kriyananda:

“I will finish what I set my mind to do
before leaving it for something else.
My word is my bond.
So also is my resolution.”

Banat, banat, ban jai: doing, doing, one day done!

In divine friendship,