From the book, How to Be a Success, by Paramhansa Yogananda.

What Is Success? 

Success must be measured by happiness—by your ability to remain in harmony—rather than by health, prestige, or wealth. If you have lots of health and lots of wealth, but lots of trouble with everybody, including yourself, you have very little. The entire purpose of life becomes futile if you cannot find happiness.

See your success in inner rather than outer terms. Most people define success according to salary, title, or status—the social symbols of success. Whereas “inner success” has little to do with rewards or recognition. It is defined by what you are rather than what you have.

A truly successful person is happy and contented and lives according to his or her own principles.

The Stages of Success

  1. The choice of a good material or spiritual vocation that suits you.
  2. The performance of that work with attention, love, and interest.
  3. Continued interest and superhuman patience in your work.
  4. The thought of constant progress to neutralize the tendency toward mechanical habit.
  5. Finding the Kingdom of Success.

Utilize Your Willpower to Obtain Success

The whole world stands aside for the person who knows where he is going and is determined to get there.

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. A strong will, by its dynamic force, creates a way for its fulfillment. By its very strength, the will sets into motion certain vibrations in the atmosphere. Nature, with its laws of order, system, and efficiency, then creates circumstances favorable to the individual who exercises will power. Will derives its strength from an honest purpose, lofty motives, and the noble concern to do good for the world at large. A strong will is never stifled—it always finds a way.

Use will power and continuous activity in order to be successful. Here are three rules for making your will power dynamic:

  1. Choose a simple task or accomplishment that you have never mastered and determine to succeed in it.
  2. Be sure you have chosen something constructive and feasible, then refuse to consider failure.
  3. Concentrate on a single purpose, using all abilities and opportunities to forward it.

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 Spirit—the Source of all.

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.

Success and Meditation

When you want to create something important, sit quietly, calm your senses and your thoughts, and meditate deeply upon what you want to do or acquire. A man striving for permanent success must meditate every morning and night, in order to feel the guidance of Spirit.

During meditation the yogi feels the power of concentration in the will center at the point between the eyebrows, and also experiences a feeling of complete peace throughout his body. In this way the brain cells become impregnated with peace and power, and their hereditary chemical and psychological composition is altered. Concentration is the key to success.

How to Realize Success

Divine Abundance follows the law of service and generosity. Give and then receive. Give to the world the best you have, and the best will come back to you. The law of prosperity is not governed by the law of selfishness, but by the law of unselfishness.

Here is a very good video by Swami Kriyananda (direct disciple of Yogananda) on this theme.

In the end, a successful life is judged by the simplest of questions: “Have I lived up to my ideals? Have I loved and been loved?”

Return to Sharing the Heart of Yogananda. 

Learn more, receive a free PDF booklet: “An Introduction to the Revolutionary Teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda”:
Get the PDF