When I was five years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy.” They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. —John Lennon
Let’s take a short tour of what we know about how to feel great. We’ve learned some important principles and values that are essential to achieving real joy.
1. Know who you are.
Know that you are a spiritual being, distinct from the body; that “soul” is something completely unique.
Knowing yourself as a soul gives you a spiritual identity that needs to become the consciousness from which you operate in your everyday life. It needs to be practiced, not just lodged somewhere in your brain as an intellectual concept.
2. Find your balance and inner silence.
There are so many wonderful benefits of knowing your spiritual identity. One of the greatest is this: you will be able to steady your mind and keep it quiet. You will then see your Self more clearly, recognize your challenges, and have the strength to overcome them. When you train your mind in this way, you will find refuge in practicing a state of inner silence—a state of peace and nourishment that you will return to again and again. You will have learned to keep your mind free from worry and to maintain an inner focus, no matter how much responsibility you have.
3. Know who you belong to.
The One who is Supreme is the One on whom we must focus our attention in times of difficulty. He is the One who is God—who benefits us all through His goodness, encouragement, and love. Realize that people of all religions belong to this same One; they accept this same One, even though He is known by many different names. Remembering this One not only liberates us from the wrongs of our past, but empowers us to do what is right, now and in the future.
4. Know and understand the philosophy of karma—the law of cause and effect.
Karma teaches you to only do things that are beneficial and positive so that your conscience lives in harmony and peace. When you can do that, you have learned how to be happy and put sorrow behind you, and then you can help others do the same.
5. Put ego to rest and practice respect.
When you respect yourself, others, and the universe, everything can flourish. Nonviolence is the highest form of religion and awareness marks the beginning of an end to violence.
6. Be a master of positive energy.
Reach for such heights that you accumulate both spiritual and, tangible wealth. When you become a magnet for good and for peace, you will be able to lessen the sorrow and suffering of others, too.
7. Be centered and aligned.
Pay complete attention to the quality of your thoughts and feelings. Ground yourself in your identity as an eternal spiritual being, and you will find an abundance of power in your ability to live in peace, love, and joy. Even in the midst of chaos—whether internal or external—you still will recognize that you are responsible for every thought, word, and action that you create. You will remember that everything is energy, good or bad, and you will nurture your positive energy through all your experiences until they become your habit. When your actions and reactions become spontaneously positive, even in difficult situations, it is living proof that you are making the right moves toward a lifetime of feeling great.
Your goal is to focus on the positive and then see if you feel any different during the week as a result—either in your interactions with others or in your own feelings about yourself.