He is the wisest who seeks God. He is the most successful who has found God. ~Yogananda, The Law of Success
Before Apple founder Steve Jobs died a few years ago, he carefully pre-planned his memorial service. Among the special requests he made: that everyone who attended his service receive a copy of the book Autobiography of a Yogi by an Indian guru named Paramahansa Yogananda, whose ideas about self-realization had greatly influenced Jobs. Story here.
I too have a book by Yogananda by that has influenced me. On his podcast, the author Tim Ferriss often asks his guests which book they have “gifted” more than any other. For me, the answer is easy. It’s Yogananda’s The Law of Success, Using the Power of Spirit to Create Health, Prosperity and Happiness.
Many of the spiritual books I own and cherish are hefty tomes, like the 502-page Worldwide Laws of Life by John Templeton—or they’re books that require thought and contemplation for their messages to sink in, like The Soul’s Religion by Thomas Moore.
By contrast, The Law of Success is only 39 pages long and is smaller than an iPhone, so it fits comfortably in your pocket. You can read it in about an hour. Yet it’s packed with wisdom and is a true Wake Up Call for anyone who has wandered off the spiritual path or merely needs a quick spiritual refresher.
Perhaps best known for introducing millions of westerners to meditation through the best-selling Autobiography of a Yogi, Yogananda penned many books during his lifetime. But for me, The Law of Success is his masterwork because it so concisely sums up what living an active, engaged spiritual life is all about.
Yogananda’s approach might best be called KISS (Keep It Simple Silly) and for me it serves as a guide to daily living. I pick up the bookwhenever I feel spiritually off-kilter and need to get back on track. It makes me realize that success is not measured by material wealth alone, while reminding me of the vital role God plays in our lives.
What follows are passages that mean the most to me, strung together as a loose narrative. Read them once, then a second time. If you find them compelling, I suggest you pick up the book. At a cost of four dollars and change, it’s money well spent.
9 Tips from The Law of Success
Success is not rightly measured by the worldly standards of wealth, prestige and power…success is measured by the yardstick of happiness.
Your work can be called a “success” only when in some way it serves your fellowman.
Develop the powers that God gave you—unlimited powers that flow from the innermost forces of your being.
Before deciding any important matter, sit in silence, asking the Father for His blessing. Then behind your power is God’s power; behind your will, His will.
When the consciousness is kept on God, you will have no fears; every obstacle will then be overcome by courage and faith.
When you do your part and rely on God to do His, you will find that mysterious forces come to your aid and that your constructive wishes soon materialize.
Along with positive thinking, you should use will power and continuous activity in order to be successful.
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 God’s purposes.
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.