Every time I wander into a bookstore, I leave with a stack of four or five books. Double that number if it’s a used bookstore! It’s a sickness, really, but a sickness I am happy to live with.
Over the years, this ailment has exposed me to a wide array of new ideas. It has enhanced my writing, and it has opened my mind tremendously.
Usually, the books I end up finding are exactly the books I need, and The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra was most certainly one of these instances.
As I struggle to define my own vision of a successful life, this book reminds me that success comes in many, many forms, and that, as with most other things in life, success is a process to be savored, not a place we must get to in a hurry.
It’s common to associate success with money and to get wrapped up in the pursuit of it, but this would be a mistake. He makes sure to point out early on that wealth is merely one way of measuring success.
In the introduction, Chopra writes:
“There are many aspects to success; material wealth is only one component. Moreover, success is a journey, not a destination. Material abundance, in all its expressions, happens to be one of those things that makes the journey more enjoyable. But success also includes good health, energy and enthusiasm for life, fulfilling relationships, creative freedom, emotional and psychological stability, a sense of well-being, and peace of mind.”
And so if we turn a blind eye to these other aspects of success in the pursuit of financial gain, we are surely still going to feel as though we are not successful. Money will never be enough on its own.
Every chapter wraps up with suggestions for the practical application of each law, making it a useful resource I will surely be referring back to for a long time to come.
But perhaps what I love most about this book is its deep roots in spiritual, holistic living.
This book will not implore you to work harder, spend more hours at the office, or give up the things you love in the singular pursuit of success.
Instead, this book will simply encourage you to pay attention to the cues the universe is giving you so you can live out your most fulfilled existence–an existence that leaves you feeling energized, not depleted.
And I think we can all agree, that sounds pretty marvelous.
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success is a tool I plan to use moving forward to ensure that my actions are in alignment with my purpose, my passions, and my overall well-being. It could just be that tool for you, too!
Here are some of the most poignant quotes from each chapter, followed by some personal commentary from my own life and experiences.
Chapter 1: The Law of Pure Potentiality
“This law is based on the fact that we are, in our essential state, pure consciousness. Pure consciousness is pure potentiality; it is the field of all possibilities and infinite creativity. Pure consciousness is our spiritual essence.”
It makes perfect sense that the book begins this way, with this law. The unity of all things in existence is what allows for infinite possibilities. It’s what allows us to create our own reality and do, or be, anything we want.
“All relationship is a reflection of your relationship with yourself. For example, if you have guilt, fear, and insecurity over money, or success, or anything else, then these are reflections of guilt, fear, and insecurity as basic aspects of your personality. No amount of money or success will solve these basic problems of existence; only intimacy with the Self will bring about true healing.”
This one hit me hard, almost as if the book was speaking directly to me. I’ve carried a lot of guilt, fear, and insecurity over money and success for far too long, and I now realize that having those things will never erase those negative emotions.
I am making more room in my life these days for becoming familiar with my true nature (the Self) through things like meditation, breathing exercises, and communing with nature, as Chopra suggests at the end of this chapter.
Chapter 2: The Law of Giving
“Because your body and your mind and the universe are in constant and dynamic exchange, stopping the circulation of energy is like stopping the flow of blood. Whenever blood stops flowing, it begins to clot, to coagulate, to stagnate. That is why you must give and receive in order to keep wealth and affluence–or anything you want in life–circulating in your life.”
I love this analogy and the way it so clearly demonstrates that our life energy is always in a state of flow. If we are not allowing anything to flow out of our lives (money, kindness, love) then we are not allowing any space for more to flow into our lives.
“It is the intention behind your giving and receiving that is the most important thing. The intention should always be to create happiness for the giver and receiver, because happiness is life-supporting and life-sustaining and therefore generates increase. The return is directly proportional to the giving when it is unconditional and from the heart.”
This quote (and chapter as a whole) had me rethinking many of my interactions with others. Was I doing kind things for them begrudgingly, or was I genuinely doing it for the sake of making them happy? Was I giving solely in the hope of receiving something in return?
It dismayed me to think that I may have been giving with the wrong intentions. Now I understand selfless giving; the giving that comes from a sincere place, wants only good things for the recipient, and expects nothing in return.
And as Chopra also suggests in this chapter, I now plan to give something to everyone I encounter, wherever I go–even if it’s something as simple as a smile, a helping hand, or a silent blessing.
Chapter 3: The Law of “Karma” or Cause and Effect
“Whether you like it or not, everything that is happening at this moment is a result of the choices you’ve made in the past. Unfortunately, a lot of us make choices unconsciously, and therefore we don’t think they are choices–and yet, they are.”
Karma, or the idea that we “reap what we sow,” means that we have far more control over our circumstances than most of us like to believe. So many of the choices we make are conditioned reflexes instead of conscious, informed decisions. Once we make the transition to making conscious decisions, it’s easier to see the connection between those decisions and their outcomes.
“When you make any choice–any choice at all–you can ask yourself two things: First of all, ‘What are the consequences of this choice that I’m making?’ In your heart you will immediately know what these are. Secondly, ‘Will this choice that I’m making now bring happiness to me and to those around me?’ If the answer is yes, then go ahead with that choice. If the answer is no, if that choice brings distress either to you or to those around you, then don’t make that choice. It’s as simple as that.”
This point was another that had me digging through my memory banks for instances in which I’d made choices that were not for the highest benefit of myself and others. I realized pretty quickly that I was too often making the selfish choice; a choice that perhaps benefitted me in the moment, but did not benefit others.
I also appreciate the nod to intuitive decision-making here; the heart really does know what to do, and the better we get at listening to those subtle feelings, the better world we will create for all of us.
Chapter 4: The Law of Least Effort
“This law is based on the fact that nature’s intelligence functions with effortless ease and abandoned carefreeness. This is the principle of least action, of no resistance. This is, therefore, the principle of harmony and love. When we learn this lesson from nature, we easily fulfill our desires.”
THIS, GUYS. This is what I’ve come to realize lately, particularly with regard to my blog–that I’ve been following the path of most resistance. I chose a narrow niche because it was the “right” thing to do, not because it was what my heart told me to do. And because it took me so long to realize this, I struggled, and my blog growth stagnated.
Now, I’m choosing the path of no resistance. The path that flows easily and effortlessly. The path that requires no struggle. I’m writing about the things that truly inspire me, and I’ve fallen in love with blogging again.
“When you struggle against this moment, you’re actually struggling against the entire universe. Instead, you can make the decision that today you will not struggle against the whole universe by struggling against this moment. This means that your acceptance of this moment is total and complete. You accept things as they are, not as you wish they were in this moment.”
Acceptance of what is can be a hard pill to swallow, because sometimes our current situation simply seems unfair. But if we remember that every moment is both a product of our choices AND working for the benefit of our evolution as a person, it becomes much easier to see the lessons in it, accept it for what it is, and be grateful for what it is teaching us about ourselves.
Chapter 5: The Law of Intention and Desire
“Your body is not separate from the body of the universe, because at quantum mechanical levels there are no well-defined edges. You are like a wiggle, a wave, a fluctuation, a convolution, a whirlpool, a localized disturbance in the larger quantum field. The larger quantum field–the universe–is your extended body.”
When we understand that in the most literal of terms, our bodies are the universe, it’s easier to fathom that we have the ability–through our intentions–to influence our environment and cause things to manifest in it. This is the simplest way I have ever seen this idea written, which I hope will cause some of you to understand your world in a new way.
“Intention combined with detachment leads to life-centered, present-moment awareness. And when action is performed in present-moment awareness, it is most effective. Your intent is for the future, but your attention is in the present. As long as your attention is in the present, then your intent for the future will manifest, because the future is created in the present. You must accept the present as is.”
If I created t-shirts that said “The future is created in the present,” would anyone buy one? That is some hard-hitting truth right there. A poignant reminder that worrying about the future won’t change it, but acting consciously in the now will.
Chapter 6: The Law of Detachment
“The Law of Detachment says that in order to acquire anything in the physical universe, you have to relinquish your attachment to it. This doesn’t mean you give up the intention to create your desire. You don’t give up the intention, and you don’t give up the desire. You give up your attachment to the result.”
This may be one of the toughest laws to put into practice, as attachment can be a real son of a bitch. But in those rare moments where I have relinquished attachment to outcomes, something beautiful has invariably popped up.
There were many examples of this during our recent trip to Maui. We had no fixed plans, and we wound up doing some truly incredible things because of it–things that have since changed the entire course of our lives.
“The search for security is an illusion. In ancient wisdom traditions, the solution to this whole dilemma lies in the wisdom of insecurity, or the wisdom of uncertainty. This means that the search for security and certainty is actually an attachment to the known. And what is the known? The known is our past. The known is nothing other than the prison of our past conditioning. There’s no evolution in that–absolutely none at all.”
Like I said earlier, at times, this book felt like it was written especially for me. I’ve had a painful attachment to the illusion of security, one that has caused me to struggle against life and kept me from evolving. But I didn’t recognize my attachment until reading this book!
“When you experience uncertainty, you are on the right path–so don’t give up.”
This chapter would be difficult to sum up with just a few quotes, but this one comes close.
Chapter 7: The Law of “Dharma” or Purpose in Life
“When you combine the ability to express your unique talent with service to humanity, then you make full use of the Law of Dharma. And coupled with the experience of your own spirituality, the field of pure potentiality, there is no way you will not have access to unlimited abundance, because that is the real way abundance is achieved.”
The discovery of the Self, the expression of your unique talent, and service to humanity. Easier said than done, maybe, but essential to our ultimate evolution and happiness in this human lifetime.
Putting The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success Into Practice
When reading through The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success on your own, you’ll notice that the chapters have a way of building upon one another.
In practice, it might be easiest to focus on just one law at a time, enhancing your understanding of each through the practical applications (included as bullet points at the end of each chapter).
Or, as the members of Deepak Chopra’s Global Network for Spiritual Success do, focus on practicing one law for each day of the week.
Because this isn’t one of those books you can read through one time and call it a day. You’ll find great benefit in revisiting the chapters, reminding yourself of the main points (or any that really struck you, personally) and rereading the tips for applying the laws in your daily life.
After reading it myself, I truly feel like a different person. A more mindful person. A person capable of making good, conscious decisions. A person who is one step closer to truly understanding her divine spirit and living in a way that reflects it.
This book has given me the tools to create the life I truly desire, without great struggle or effort; a life overflowing with every different kind of success.
I hope it can do the same for you!
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