A law to keep you perpetually happy

By Swami Mukundananda

True happiness comes by growing from within to become a better person.

The way to be happier is not by accumulating possessions, but by becoming a better person. All our life we prioritise a hundred tasks over and above the task of working upon ourselves. Think about it. How much time in a year do we allocate to self-improvement?

Our focus is upon doing, and in the process neglect being. The sequence for success is that ‘being’ must precede ‘doing’. We must be genuinely good before we can truly do something worthwhile. Presently, our sequence is the reverse. We focus on achieving great works. But we neglect the foundation for it, which is becoming better people ourselves. Instead, if we could shift the focus to growing from within, we would become more successful in our external works as well.

Let us understand this more deeply.

Why can we not thrive wherever we are in life? People keep changing their jobs, cars, homes, friends, and even life partners. But they never think of changing themselves. This is where our perspective differs from God’s perspective. We’re more interested in changing our environment, while God is more interested in changing us. In fact, difficult circumstances are given to us for the same purpose – to make us grow. Just as a carpenter uses sandpaper to smoothen rough edges, the universe provides us with hardships that compel us to evolve. The flower on the arid hillside also had its challenges. There was lack of water, wild animals, dry winds and extreme cold. And yet it manages to blossom. Why can’t human beings do the same? People fret and fume about the externals in their life – their marriage, work environment, neighbourhood, and so on. In the process, they forget the purpose of life, which is to become a better person. When we take care of this one fundamental aspect, external success will naturally follow.

Blaise Pascal was a famous French mathematician, physicist and philosopher. Someone said to him, ‘If I had your brains, I would be a better person.’ Pascal replied, ‘Be a better person and you will have my brains.’ We must undoubtedly work hard at our job, but we should work harder upon ourselves. Our inner growth is the foundation of outer success.

What we do in life is limited by how good we are from within. If we wish to do more, we must prioritise self-improvement. Then, as we become better, we’ll naturally be motivated to do the best we can do. And when we try to do our finest at work, we’ll discover it requires us to improve ourselves even further. In this way, with proper understanding, ‘being’ and ‘doing’ feed each other. Should people be ambitious to do well at work? Yes, they must certainly be ambitious at work, but in a meaningful and purposeful way, because in the process, they’ll realise they must also grow from within. Then, by being good and ‘doing good’, they’ll ‘feel good’ – they’ll experience inner satisfaction. This is the happiness which is beyond objects of the senses. It arises from within and cannot be snatched away. (Abridged from 7 Divine Laws To Awaken Your Best Self)

International Day of Happiness is on March 20



Views expressed above are the author’s own.


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