He is the wisest who seeks God. He is the most successful who has found God. ~Yogananda
On the Tim Ferriss podcast, the host often asks his guests which book they have “gifted” more than any other. For me, the answer is easy. It’s Paramahansa Yogananda’s The Law of Success: Using the Power of Spirit to Create Health, Prosperity and Happiness. I’ve given the book to many people, including a down on her luck cabby in Los Angeles and most recently my young adult daughter.
Yogananada is probably best known for his best-selling Autobiography of a Yogi, which introduced millions of westerners to meditation. It’s the book Apple founder Steve Jobs insisted be handed out at his funeral. It’s a favorite of Bill Gates and the man known as the greatest cricket player of all time, Virat Kohli. It also had a huge influence on the late great Beatle George Harrison.
But for me, the book I go to again and again is Yogananada’s The Law of Success because it so concisely sums up what living an engaged spiritual life is all about. 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 a little thought for their messages to sink in, like virtually any book by Richard Rohr, Mirabai Starr or Thomas Moore.
By contrast, The Law of Success is a quick read. It’s only thirty-nine pages long and is smaller than an iPhone, so it fits comfortably into your pocket or a small purse. You can read it in about an hour. Yet it’s packed with clear and concise wisdom. It can serve as a true “wake up call” for anyone who has wandered off the spiritual path or merely needs a quick refresher.
Be as simple as you can be. You will be astonished to see how uncomplicated and happy your life can become.
The guru’s approach might best be called KISS (Keep It Simple Silly) and for me it acts as a guide to daily living. I pick up the book whenever 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 the passages I find most compelling, lightly edited and strung together as a loose narrative. Read them once, then a second time. If you find they talk to you, I recommend you pick up the book. At a cost of about five dollars, it will be money well spent.
9 Tips from The Law of Success
Success is not measured by the worldly standards of wealth, prestige and power. Your 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 God for His blessing. Behind your power is God’s power. Behind your will, is His will.
Keep your consciousness on God and 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.
To be happy, focus on having good health, a well-balanced mind, the right work, a thankful heart—and above all, wisdom or knowledge of God.