Our life is a function of our thoughts. Happiness, joy, pleasure, and pain are all reflections of our minds. We completely create our world with our minds.
Sounds a bit radical, doesn't it? If this were true, it would make us COMPLETELY responsible for our condition, particularly whether we were happy or sad, successful or unsuccessful, rich or poor, etc. We couldn't blame anyone else - our parents, our schools, unfortunate circumstances, or whatever. The buck stops with us. Perhaps this is an even more radical thought. Maybe we can phrase it a little differently.
We create our future with our thoughts. Although a dictionary wouldn't agree with the definition, a yogi would consider thought, fate and destiny as synonymous terms. Perhaps on a simplistic level, most people would probably agree. Everyone is familiar with successful people who have created a fruitful life by their positive thoughts of success and their continuous mental focus on their goals. In such strong examples it is easy to see the correlation between success and their attitudes. We know they had to succeed. When we try to bring this model to the level of the average individual we encounter difficulties. We don't see as quickly the correlation between their thoughts and their state in life. We don't observe the mundane happenings as easily as the extraordinary ones.
Let us look at another example of how thoughts affect our future. Often we think negative thoughts, even in the form of something we don't want to do. For example, on the golf course one might think, " I won't hit into the sand trap, I won't hit into the sand trap." We think really hard of what we're not going to do. But the focus of the thought is the sand trap. Where does the ball go? Invariably into the sand trap!. Things happen because we are focusing on them, even if the focus is in a negative way. Focus in positive terms: "I will hit on the green." In this way no energy at all is given to the negative, not giving it any opportunity to manifest.
From a yogic perspective, every thought creates something. Thoughts don't just pass after we think them. Each thought has a subtle energy of its own. These subtle energy of thoughts create our fate or our destiny. Thoughts attract like thoughts. People who think good thoughts are attracted to people with similar thoughts. Conversely, people who think bad or negative thoughts attract like things to themselves. This explains why people who don't even know each other are attracted to each other.
As we think, we convert these thoughts into action. If we continue to repeat these same thoughts with their corresponding actions they become mental habits or samskaras in Sanskrit. These mental habits are samskaras are analogous to grooves in a phonograph record. They are like grooves in our consciousness. Samskaras basically define our mental function, how we think, how we act, how our emotions are activated, how our whole mental functions work. Since these samkaras begin with our thoughts, it is easy to see how our thoughts shape our whole lives, create our fate, our character and our destiny.