7 Steps to Happiness

7 Steps to Happiness


If at first you flunk this test, smile!

1. Make Your Smile Cheaper

Is being stressed a sign of prosperity, growth, or dignity? Do you give anger freely and smile rarely—as though a smile is costly? In ignorance, anger is cheap and smiling is costly. In knowledge, a smile is free like the sun, air, and water and anger is extremely expensive, like a diamond. Make your smile cheaper and anger expensive! You are here for a greater cause. Just remember that. Take a challenge: “Come what may, I am going to smile today and be happy!” Smile more.

2. Be Enthusiastic and Praise Others

Take every opportunity to praise others and support their enthusiasm. How would you like to see yourself? Happy and bubbling with enthusiasm or dull and difficult to please? Often, you like to be pleased, appeased, and cajoled. So you put up a tough, upset face and act difficult to please. If a person has to appease and please 10 people all the time, it will be so tiring. People who keep a long face and expect others to cajole and appease them make others run away. Lovers often do this. They expend a lot of energy in cajoling, and this brings down the joy and celebration of the moment. If you feel down, appease and please yourself.

3. Make Meditation a Part of Your Life

The higher goals in life can only be realized through a few minutes of meditation and introspection. Meditation is letting go of anger from the past and of planning for the future. Meditation is accepting this moment and living every moment totally with depth. Just this understanding, and a few days of continuous practice of meditation, can change the quality of your life.

4. Communicate Effectively

If you are faced with someone who knows more than you, be like a child and keep your ears and eyes open for learning. If you are faced with someone who knows less than you, be humble and strive to make them as good as or better than you. Play with a small child as you played when you were a child. Talk with an elderly person, remembering that one day you will be like that. Communicate with a person of your age group like you are his or her best friend. This world is varied beyond our imagination, and there’s always something to share, learn, and teach. When you are centered, you become a powerful communicator. And when your communication improves, your life improves.

5. Accept Imperfections

If you are a perfectionist, you’re bound to be an angry person. In this world, everything cannot be perfect all the time. Even the best, the greatest of actions, performed with the noblest of intentions, will have some imperfections. It is natural. Unfortunately, the tendency of our mind is to grab the imperfection and hold on to it. In the process, we end up making our minds imperfect and our souls reel with nonsense. It is imperative to get out of these cycles, and to become strong and courageous from within.

6. Have a Sense of Humor

You were endowed with a certain naughtiness as a child. Keep it alive. Humor will grease all tough situations. One who has humor can sail through any conflict. Humor is the buffer that can save you from humiliation. If you refuse to be humiliated, you become invincible. Humor brings everyone together, while humiliation tears them apart. In a society torn with humiliation and insult, humor is like a breath of fresh air. Humor should be coupled with care and concern.

7. Dream the Umpossible

We are all born in this world to do something wonderful and unique. Don’t let this opportunity pass by. Give yourself the freedom to dream and think big. Have the courage and determination to achieve those dreams that are dear to you. Many a time people who dreamt big were ridiculed, but they remained strong to achieve their goals. Do something creative. Not a year should pass without doing something creative.

Adapted from 25 Ways to Improve Your Life by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

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