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Alter Your Life Chapter One: Alter Your Life
There is no need to be unhappy. There is no need to be sad. There is no need to be disappointed, or oppressed, or aggrieved. There is no need for illness or failure or discouragement. There is no necessity for anything but success, good health, prosperity, and an abounding interest and joy in life.
That the lives of many people are full of dreary things is unfortunately only too true; but there is no necessity for them to be there. They are there only because their victims suppose them to be inevitable, not because they are so. As long as you accept a negative condition at its own valuation, so long will you remain in bondage to it; but you have only to assert your birthright as a free man or woman and you will be free.
Success and happiness are the natural condition of mankind. It is actually easier for us to demonstrate these things than the reverse. Bad habits of thinking and acting may obscure this fact for a time, just as a wrong way of walking or sitting, or holding a pen or a musical instrument may seem to be easier than the proper way, because we have accustomed ourselves to it; but the proper way is the easier nevertheless.
Unhappiness, frustration, poverty, loneliness are really bad habits that their victims have become accustomed to bear with more or less fortitude, believing that there is no way out, whereas there is a way; and that way is simply to acquire good habits of mind instead of bad ones habits of working with the Law instead of against it.
You should never "put up" with anything. You should never be willing to accept less than Health, Harmony, and Happiness. These things are your Divine Right as the sons and daughters of God, and it is only a bad habit, unconscious, as a rule, that causes you to be satisfied with less. In the depths of his being man always feels intuitively that there is a way out of his difficulties if only he can find it, and his natural instincts all point in the same direction. The infant, as yet uncontaminated by the defeatist suggestions of his elders, simply refuses to tolerate inharmony on any terms, and therefore he demonstrates over it. When he is hungry he tells the world with a confident insistence that commands attention, while many a sophisticated adult goes without. Does he find a pin sticking in some part of his anatomy? Not for him a sigh of resignation to the supposed "will of God" (it is really blasphemy to say that evil or suffering could ever be the will of God, All Good), or a whine about never having any luck, or a sigh that what cannot be cured must be endured. No, the defeatist view of life has not yet touched him; his instincts tell him that life and harmony are in-separable. And sure enough, that pin is located and removed even if everything else has to come to a stop until it is done.
But "shades of the prison-house begin to close about the growing boy," and by the time he is old enough to think rationally the Race habit will have trained him to use his reason largely in the inverted way.
Refuse to tolerate anything less than harmony. You can have prosperity no matter what your present circumstances may be. You can have health and physical fitness. You can have a happy and joyous life. You can have a good home of your own. You can have congenial friends and comrades. You can have a full, free, joyous life, independent and untrammeled. You can become your own master or your own mistress. But to do this you must definitely seize the rudder of your own destiny and steer boldly and firmly for the port that you intend to make.
What are you doing about your future? Are you content to let things just drift along as they are, hoping, like Mr. Micawber, for something to "turn up"? If you are, be assured that there is no escape in that way. Nothing ever will turn up unless you exercise your Free Will and go out and turn it up for yourself by becoming acquainted with the Laws of Life, and applying them to your own individual conditions. That is the only way. Otherwise the years will pass all too swiftly, leaving you just where you are now, if not worse off, for there is no limit to the result of thought either for good or evil.
Man has dominion over all things when he knows the Law of Being, and obeys it. The Law gives you power to bring any condition into your life that is not harmful. The Law gives you power to overcome your own weaknesses and faults of character, no matter how often you may have failed in the past or how tenacious they may have seemed to be. The Law gives you power to attain prosperity and position without infringing the rights and opportunities of anyone else in the world. The Law gives you Freedom; freedom of soul, and body, and environment.
The Law gives you Independence so that you can build your own life in your own way, in accordance with your own ideas and ideals; and plan out your future along the lines that you yourself desire. If you do not know what you really want to make you happy, then the Law will tell you what you want, and get it for you too. And the Law rightly understood and applied will save you from the danger of what is called "outlining" with all its risks and limitations.
The Law will endow you with the gift of what is called Originality; Originality is the doing of things in a new way which is a better way, and different from anyone else's way; and Originality, as distinct from its counterfeits which are eccentricity and mere posing, means success in your work.Alter Your Life. Copyright © by Emmet Fox. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.