By Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
1. Reduce Your Needs & Increase Your Responsibilities
If you sit and make a note of all your responsibilities and all your needs, and if you find that your needs are more than your responsibilities, then life will lead to misery. But if you take more responsibility and have fewer needs, then you will be happy. This is the secret.
When you take more responsibility and your needs are less, everything simply comes to you - enthusiasm, happiness, creativity, etc.
2. Look At People Who Have Bigger Problems Than You
Once a wise man drew a line on a board and told his student to make the line shorter without touching or erasing it. How would you do it? You have to shorten a line without touching it.
The student then drew a much longer line underneath that line. So, the line automatically became shorter. The lesson here is that if your difficulties appear to be very big, lift your eyes because you are only focused on yourself.
If you lift your eyes up and look at those who are in a worse condition than you, you will suddenly feel that your burden is not as bad as you thought it was. If you think you have some big problem, look at people who have a greater problem. Suddenly, you will get a confidence that my problem is much smaller, and I can manage it.
So to be happy is to see those who have greater problems, then your problems will appear smaller. The moment your problems appear smaller, you will get the energy and confidence to deal with it or solve it.
In simple words, serve those who are in greater need.
3. Don't Be Unhappy About Being Unhappy
Never mind if you are unhappy for a little while, so what? If you think I should never be unhappy, then that becomes a cause of unhappiness.
4. Drop Unpleasant Memories Of The Past & Live In The Present Moment
How can you be happy if you’re holding onto unpleasant memories of the past? Unpleasant memories are the biggest hindrance for you to be in the present. The nature of the mind is such, it leaves all the pleasant memories and it grabs onto those few unpleasant events and chews on it. We have advanced in technology but we have not used that technology for our mind.
If you are happy now, the past will not torment you and the future will take care of itself.
5. Know That Everything Is Temporary
None of the events are permanent; pleasant or unpleasant, all pass and move away.
When you realize that everything is temporary, and it all fades away, then you can be perpetually happy.
6. Dedicate Your Life To A Larger Goal
The key to happiness in life is to not stay stuck in 'Me, me, & mine'. Dedicate your life to some larger goal or to the service of others around you, then you will find that only happiness flows through your life.
7. Take The Decision That 'I Will Not Allow Any Situation To Bog Down My Happiness'
You Have To Take This Decision, Nobody Else Can Take It For You.
There is nothing great in smiling when everything is normal, and when everything is going the way you want. But if you awaken the valor inside of you, and say, ‘Come what may, I am going to keep smiling’, you will notice tremendous energy rise from within you. Then problems will feel like nothing; they just come and disappear.
Being happy, keeping the environment around you happy, and not losing your smile come what may, is the real sign of enlightenment.
8. At All Costs, Save Your Mind!
In your day to day life, people come and put some negativity in you, and that makes your mind and your determination shaky. Don’t let this happen. Put a filter to your ears and just smile through it.
It is natural and common that people will put out some negativity, but when you are deeply connected with your Self, and when you have intuition, then you will just smile through all such incidents. You will put a filter in your ears.
That is how the world is. There are some pleasant and some unpleasant things. How we manage them and keep our direction, that is what is most important.
9. Have Faith Because Faith By Itself Can Make You So Happy
What you need to remember at all times is this, 'There is someone who loves me very dearly, and is taking care of me at all times. He cannot be without me and He is capable of removing any lack that I have'.
Knowing this too brings such joy in one’s life.
10. Share Your Happiness With Others & It Will Grow
When you are content; when you are happy, you want to share it.
The nature of joy is to share with others. Joy has the tendency to spread, and whenever a person is genuinely happy and joyful from within, they want to just share it with the whole world.
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a humanitarian and spiritual leader, an ambassador of peace and human values. Through his life and work, Gurudev has inspired millions around the world with a vision of a stress-free, violence-free world. He has founded courses that provide techniques and tools to live a deeper, more joyous life and he has established nonprofit organizations that recognize a common human identity above the boundaries of race, nationality, and religion.