Growing up in the American Northeast, I met a lot of characters (some were members of my own family!).

When I was in high school, my soccer teammates and I trained during the summer for the upcoming fall season. Part of our training included weight lifting so we looked for a local gym. Before becoming members, we went to check out a prospective fitness studio where we met John Helane — a sales consultant whom we would never forget.

He was kind of like a cross between a character from “The Godfather” who championed working out and Red Bull sports drinks instead of “La Casa Nostra.” If you’ve ever seen the movie “Pumping Iron” he sounded a bit like Lou Ferrigno’s father when he said, “They’ve never seen arms like yours Louie!”

As we sat down in John Helane’s office, he began his sales pitch without any preamble. His presentation aids were simply a piece of paper and a pen. The paper had a sketch of the human body with different muscle groups on it.

“Let’s say you come in here and your biceps are 12 inches…” 

He circled the biceps and wrote the number 12 next to them. He knew not to complicate his sales pitch for high school boys. He continued:

“You’re gonna come in here and make it happen and they’ll balloon to 14!” 

He crossed out the number 12 and wrote 14 next to it.

Almost as much for John Helane’s character as for the weights in the gym, we became members. “Make it Happen!” became a joyful battle cry during our training sessions.

But if in reality God is the sole doer of all action, how then do we actually make anything happen?

Paramhansa Yogananda once said, “In carrying out Thy wishes, Lord, I will be ambitious.” All the great saints tell us activity (combined with meditation) is the way. 

But how do we act? 

Yogananda said one of the highest prayers is, “Lord, I will reason, I will, will, I will act, but guide Thou my reason, will, and activity to the right path in everything.”

Let’s try a simple shift to John Helane’s sales pitch:

Make it Happen for Him!

That is to say, work for God alone. Live your life to please God alone. Make it happen for Him alone!

Not only will your biceps grow, your will power will surge until it unites with His Will. Then we can cross out “make it happen” and rewrite our soul’s story to read, “I made it happen for Him alone! Thy will, Thy will be done!”

In Joy,

Nayaswami Narayan

Thy Will by Swami Kriyananda