In this letter Swami Kriyananda advises a devotee to always try to react “usefully.”

Dear ——:

In any line of work one can’t expect constant wins. What one loses, however, if one reacts unhappily, is that people hesitate even to offer suggestions. In time, they begin seeking help elsewhere, even if they like your ideas better than someone else’s. After all, who wants to face a possible upset when one is only trying to get a job done?

Can’t you see that your distress over their reactions, and not your actual work, is what makes them so often skirt around you rather than work with you? Who wants to upset you? No one! Their natural reaction will be to avoid you, even for your sake.

My point here is that what we need to do in life is seek reactions that work for us, reactions that are useful. The only person who suffers when we allow negative thoughts to intrude is ourselves. And who wants to suffer?

The world is not out to get you. If, however, you keep feeling misjudged and unappreciated, people will leave you to yourself, for your peace of mind as much as for theirs. They’ll suffer in doing so, but who wants disharmony if he can avoid it? And you will suffer even more. Why? It’s all completely unnecessary!

When others don’t like some idea you come up with, don’t look on it as a failure. It’s your discouragement that is your failure—a spiritual failure. For you are on the spiritual path to grow spiritually! The first thing is to develop a right attitude. What you do in your work is of minor importance. What you do in your work on yourself is of major importance, and is the only thing God wants of you.

Be stronger in yourself. Absolutely refuse to feel sorry for yourself. The truth is, whatever attitude you put out will be a magnet that draws back to yourself situations that reflect your expectation. If the attitude is negative, the “echo” will be negative also. If it is positive, everything will turn positive for you. It is you who create your own universe!

Remember, finally, that people like working with others who like working with them. It’s all that simple! Try to learn this truth! It will be the cornerstone of anything you build of your own happiness and fulfillment.

In divine friendship,

Swami Kriyananda

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