The quest for happiness is one that everyone strives for. While there is an abundance of literature on how to achieve this happiness, the fundamental key lies in recognizing that to achieve happiness you should strive to not cause unhappiness to others. In short, the laws of nature are such that if you want to achieve happiness then you must make others happy. This can only be achieved by ensuring your inner intentions are fundamentally good.
If your inner intent is bad (a wish to cause harm to any living being by thought, mind or deed), then you will find yourself surrounded by similar people and only wallow in unhappiness. There are many ways in which you can begin to change your inner intent which in time will certainly manifest in external worldly happiness. Below are some key techniques you could try:
1) Maintain pure inner intent
Every morning recite the following sentence: “Let no living being be hurt even to the slightest extent through this mind, speech, and body.”
If for instance, you happen to cause hurt to any living being, then ask for forgiveness internally to the individual concerned. By performing this act of asking for forgiveness, you will notice you will feel lighter and your relationships with others will be harmonious – achieving freedom from hurtful intent. Do not allow yourself to be governed by your intellect. Keep in mind that intellect’s nature is to show you the faults of others and never to see your own faults. The strength lies in seeing your own mistakes and not of others.
2) Help others
Maintain an obliging nature: use your mind, speech, and deeds to help others. The goal for all human beings should be to help others. If you truly look at what brings you greater joy, helping others or looking after yourself, it will be invariably in most cases helping others!
You can help others in many ways: all too often simple acts will make all the difference to others. For instance, if you are boarding a bus, let the elderly or needy people go first or offer your seat to them. Contribute to the food banks, show humanity and compassion to others by putting them first. Even kind words will change a person’s day. By performing simple acts of kindness, you will find greater peace and happiness.
3) Remain in the present
The past has already happened and the future is in the hands of nature. Thus by remaining in the present, you will experience contentment. Your mind will fester when you dwell in the uncertainty of the future or the wrongs of the past. By listening to your thoughts, you distract yourself from enjoying the present. By delving into the past even for a minute to recollect an unpleasant moment, you recreate the unhappiness and cause yourself to lose your peace of mind. Inevitably, anxieties and worries will set in.
4) Maintain a positive attitude
Have a positive mindset. It’s the inherent nature of the intellect to show profit and loss and it’s easier to see negatives in people or in situations. But you can turn this around by remaining positive. For example, if you have just lost your job, focus on the positive from other aspects of your life. Understand this situation will not last forever and take every step to look for another job. Realize that you will not be without a job forever and consider it may have been for the right reason.
Turn your energies to other aspects of your life which are running just fine. The rule of nature dedicates that being positive will always bring favorable results.
5) Maintain a faultless vision
Focus on the good virtues of the people you have in your life. Every living being has goodness within them. Your mind may show you bad things about others but you must try to keep your vision focused only on their good qualities. By seeing others as faultless you will feel better. You will experience freedom from your inner emotions of anger, pride, deceit, and greed.
These emotions are the key traits that cause you misery. They have haunted you since the beginning of time. By seeing others as faultless and focusing on your faults, your own inner emotions of anger, pride, deceit, and greed will begin to decrease.
6) Ask for forgiveness
Asking for forgiveness for your mistakes is a powerful tool when you may have caused hurt or had the intent to hurt anyone through your mind, speech, and body. These thoughts and intents will always reach the person concerned. Then they will immediately feel the effects of your feeling towards them. Perform this when you may have spoken in a harsh and hurtful language; when you may have had bad or adverse thoughts towards others or caused bodily harm.
By asking for forgiveness you are actually clearing away the negative intent towards the individual concerned. Thereby the conflicts between them and you will dissipate and bring about closure. By adopting any one of the above techniques, you will notice a huge difference within yourself. Others too will notice the impact of your conduct. Happiness can only be derived by giving others happiness. And in the same token making others miserable will result in misery for yourself foremost.