A successful life includes the spiritual dimension, according to wisdom from Deepak Chopra.

There are a lot of misconceptions in the field of spirituality. One of the most common is the belief that spirituality isn’t compatible with success — it’s not supportive of the desire to develop personally, professionally, or physically. From that perspective, wanting money or career success is somehow unspiritual. But is that really true?

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According to Deepak Chopra, one of the most renowned modern-day teachers of Eastern philosophy, success is best defined as “the continued expansion of happiness and the progressive realization of worthy goals.” Sure, seeking fame or fortune as your number one priority is likely tied up in your ego, not your true heart’s desire. But seeking worthwhile goals is absolutely essential to living a life of wholeness.

The balance between inner fulfillment and outer accomplishment is a big challenge for anyone committed to their personal or spiritual development. Fortunately, in his bestselling book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Chopra outlines a number of key principles that combine Western and Eastern philosophies. Are you looking for a different model of success? These laws will point you in the right direction.

The Law of Pure Potentiality

road and universe

Chopra’s spiritual laws of success come from a non-material worldview. In other words, consciousness is the foundation of reality, and humans, as an extension of that intelligence, have more influence than they believe. Pure potentiality describes this process, between what Chopra calls the unmanifest and the manifest. If you’re a fan of the law of attraction, you’ll likely be familiar with these terms to describe making your imagination a reality.

How to apply this law: your thoughts are much more powerful than you think. This isn’t just a new age waffle, but a universal truth. This echoes Napoleon Hill’s famous book Think and Grow Rich, where he writes: “You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.” Success requires you to get your mind on board, to start visualizing what you really want and to believe deeply that you can achieve it. 

The Law of Giving

In Chopra’s language, giving and receiving are part of the same flow of energy in the universe. Your pursuit of success, and any abundance that comes your way, shouldn’t be hoarded or guarded for you only, which disrupts this flow. The Taoist concept of Wu Wei aligns with this view. Becoming part of the universal flow of giving and receiving will supercharge your chances of success, opening your heart in the process.

How to apply this law: As you consider what you’d like to achieve, envision how this will allow you to give more. If you want to receive more love, and you are willing to give it? If you want more material abundance, or you are willing to give things away and support others? Always attach an element of giving to your biggest goals and future visions.

The Law of Karma

The next spiritual law of success is closely linked to giving and is connected to the principle of karma. Originating from Eastern religions such as Buddhism, karma is the principle of cause and effect; that what you give, you’ll receive. Do you support other people’s success? Or do you judge others or envy them? Working on the way you handle other people will have a direct influence on your personal journey.

How to apply this law: while there may not be a literal cause and effect to every action, the law of karma is a reminder to treat others how you would like to be treated. This becomes even more important when you do start to become successful; can you continue to respect everyone, and treat everyone with kindness? 

The Law of Least Effort

man relaxing and working

Another law with roots in Taoism, the law of least effort speaks to the natural flow and harmony of the universe. This is often misunderstood to suggest that success comes without trying, which isn’t the case. Instead, this spiritual law of success means working with the flow of life, not against it. A big part of this process is accepting what you can control, and what you can’t.

How to apply this law: what areas of your life are you causing unnecessary resistance? Bring your awareness to what you can control, and what actions feel effortless or inspired. Effort in the sense of working hard for your goals is essential, but psychological or emotional resistance is an added hurdle along the way. Trust things will unfold exactly as planned for you.

The Law of Intention and Desire

In Chopra’s model, “every intention and desire is the mechanics for its fulfillment.” The metaphysics of this can be confusing to get your head around, in the sense that, for a desire to arise within a human mind, the ability to fulfill that desire must also be possible. The difficulty is that most people lack the clarity of mind to accurately discern genuine desires, and instead operate from fear or ego-driven satisfaction. The balance is looking at your heart’s desire, connecting to that, and allowing your intuition to guide you.

How to apply this law: to again quote Napoleon Hill: “The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.” You have to know what you want, trust it’s in your best interests, and pursue it feverishly, trusting which lessons surface along the way.

The Law of Detachment

The spiritual principle of detachment, or equanimity, is a buffer to desire and manifestation. How? Becoming attached to outcomes or desires creates a sense of deficiency or neediness; the feeling that you have to have the thing you desire in order to be whole, or complete. Detachment comes from a place of fulfillment; the feeling that you don’t need things to work out to be okay, although it’d be desirable.

How to apply this law: don’t become blinkered in your pursuit of success or happiness. Learn to be present to the moment directly in front of you, rather than trapped in future visions. See all you pursue as a bonus, not a necessity to live a fulfilling life. Balance inner work with outer attainment. 

The Law of Dharma

buddhist wheel of dharma

The final spiritual law of success is perhaps the most important. Chopra encourages people to discover their unique gift and purpose, the way in which they can serve humanity. Another term originating from Buddhism and Hinduism, dharma is a person’s calling. Once you align with this calling, success magnetizes to you at increased speed and tenacity, as if the universe is responding to your alignment with an affirmation.

How to apply this law: most models of psychological growth encourage people to find meaning as a precursor to happiness and success. The challenge is not simply going along with what you think you should pursue, based on other people’s expectations, but knowing in your heart of hearts what you’re here to do, no matter how modest or how bold the vision is.

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