Your success in life depends not only upon your natural ability; it depends also upon your determination to grasp the opportunities presented to you. Opportunities in life come by creation, not by chance. They are created by you, either now or in the recent or distant past. Since you have earned them, use them to the best advantage.
Always hope for the highest and best
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.
You are always demonstrating success or failure, according to the kind of thoughts 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.
Hope is the eternal light on the dark pathway through which the soul must travel for incarnations in order to reach God. Human beings hope and try for a while, but if they fail a dozen times, they cease to hope and become despondent.
To kill hope and become despondent is to put on an animal mask of limitation and to hide your divine identity of almightiness. Instead, always hope for the highest and the best, for, as a child of God, nothing is too good for you. Hope is born from the intuitive knowing of the soul that eventually we will remember the forgotten image of God within us.
Banish oversensitivity and self-pity
Every time oversensitivity visits your heart, it disconnects you from the divine song of peace that might otherwise play within you. Whenever oversensitivity comes, take responsibility for it. Try to conquer your emotion and do not blame others.
If the fire of oversensitivity eats into your heart and you allow it to stay there, it will eat into the fibers of your peace. You must be able to control it, knowing that over-sensitivity is an agent of Satan trying to destroy your peace.
Similarly, if you were born disadvantaged in any way, you should resist fiercely the temptation to wallow in self-pity. To feel sorry for oneself is to dilute one’s inner power to succeed. Instead, affirm: “There are no obstacles. There are only opportunities!”
Many people believe they should pity themselves and that self-pity will bring a little relief, but self-pity is an addiction like opium. Every time an opium addict takes the drug, he becomes more and more steeped in the habit. Be as firm as steel against self-pity.
Accuse no one, not even yourself. Blame and accusation won’t erase what has been done. Reconcile yourself to what is, and to what needs to be done about it. You can reshape every karma, provided that from today onward you live by soul-consciousness.
Never entertain thoughts of limitation
You are stronger than your tests. If you do not realize it now, you will have to realize it eventually. God gave you will power, concentration, reason, and common sense so that you can help yourself. You must use them all as you seek divine help. Do not rely wholly on ego and thus disconnect yourself from the divine source.
Never allow your mind to entertain thoughts of illness or limitation, and you will see your body change for the better. Mind is the power that is creating your body, and if your mind is weak, the body becomes weak. Don’t grieve or worry about anything.
If you strengthen your mind, you will not feel bodily pains. No matter what happens, you must be absolutely free in your mind. Use constructively the power you already have and more will come.
Renounce passivity and egotism
It is necessary to avoid both passivity and egotism. Passive people want God to do all the work, and egotists ascribe all their success to themselves. Passive people do not use the power of God in the form of intelligence.
Egotists, though using God-given intelligence, forget to ask God’s guidance as to how the intelligence should be used. It hurts me to see egotists fail after making a true, intelligent effort.
Another cause of failure is that you do not weigh your bad habits against the power of will required to combat them. Extraordinary talent is not as necessary as unswerving purpose and unfailing effort.
When you determine to do something that you know is right, go through with it at any cost. This will give your wisdom-guided will more power over your bad habits. Renounce last year’s material failure, moral weaknesses, and spiritual indifference by using your will to exercise self-control and to meditate more deeply until you actually contact God.
Use your own but God-given power
Sincere words or affirmations* repeated understandingly, feelingly, and willingly are sure to move the omnipresent Cosmic Vibratory Force and render you aid in your difficulty. Appeal to that Force with infinite confidence, casting out all doubt.
During affirmations or prayer, always feel that you are using your own, but God-given power to heal yourself or others. Always believe that as God’s beloved child, you are using the will and reason He has given you. A balance must be struck between the old idea of wholly depending on God, and the modern way of sole dependence on the ego.
Every word you utter must represent not only Truth, but some of your realized soul force. Words that are saturated with sincerity, conviction, faith, and intuition are like highly explosive vibration bombs, which can explode the rocks of difficulties and create the change desired. Avoid speaking unpleasant words, even if they are true.
Do not keep looking for the desired result. You cannot sow the vibratory prayer seed in the soil of cosmic consciousness and then dig it up every minute to see if it has germinated.
Harness your will to the right goal
In the early morning and before going to bed, every man, woman, and child must make contact with God in order to succeed.
Your soul’s message cannot reach God through your mental microphone if the hammers of restlessness break it. You must repair that microphone by practicing meditation both in the morning and before sleep, until all restless thoughts disappear. Then, affirm deeply, “My Father and I are One,” until you feel the response of God as deep, increasing peace.
Only through the practice of the right method of meditation are you able to feel this peace. Increasing peace, or bliss, is the surest proof of God’s contact and response.
When you feel the overpowering, all-solacing bliss of God, demand your celestial right by praying, “Father, I am Thy child. Guide me to my right prosperity,” or, “Father, I will reason, I will will, I will act, but guide Thou my reason, will, and activity to the right thing I should do in order to acquire health, wealth, peace, and wisdom.”
Do not will and act first, but contact God first and thus harness your will and activity to the right goal.
In meditation, the mind withdraws the life force from the muscles and nerves, and concentrates it in the brain cells, where evil mental habits are grooved. This concentrated life force will eventually eliminate all grooves of mental habits lodged in the brain.
Broadcast your prayer to God continuously
Just as you cannot receive an answer by calling someone through a microphone and then running away, so also you must not pray once and run away, but continuously broadcast your prayer to God through your calm mental microphone.
Most people pray with restlessness; they do not pray determined to receive a response.
Never mind if you do not at first contact God. For a long time you have been running away from Him, hiding in the marsh of the senses. The noise of your own rowdy passions and the flight of your heavy footsteps in the material world have made you unable to hear His call within. Stop, be calm, meditate deeply, and out of the silence will loom forth the Divine Presence.
The surest way to all-round prosperity — or to the attainment of health, wealth, peace, and wisdom — lies in reclaiming your lost divine birthright by continuously broadcasting your message to God through your calm mental microphone until you receive His answer through the increased bliss of meditation.
The right method of meditation is the only way to all-around freedom and lasting success. You must consciously contact God. Finding him you will attain dominion over yourself and all limiting conditions.
Attune yourself with Cosmic Power
God can never hide from the person who exercises devotion, love, right meditation, and a soul-call. God never fails to listen to soul-calls, but He does not always respond in the way we expect. When ever-new, ever-increasing joy fills your silence, know that you have contacted God, and that He is answering you through your soul.
Attune yourself with Cosmic Power. You will then be in contact with Infinite Intelligence, which can guide you and solve all problems. Power from the dynamic Source of your being will flow through you so that you will be creative in the world of business, the world of thought, or the world of wisdom.
Excerpted from: How to Awaken Your True Potential, by Paramhansa Yogananda, Crystal Clarity, Publishers.
*See Affirmations for Self-Healing, Crystal Clarity Publishers.