All writings herein serve to open up the world towards knowledge that matters, to piece together the greatest philosophies of living, and to expound ways towards
the path of freedom, happiness & choice.

#148 A Powerful Three-Step Algorithm for Happiness, by Leo Babauta

Posted: March 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Life | No Comments »

Today I’m going to share a really simple secret that can make your day instantly better. If you’re feeling down, it can make you happier, all day long.

It’s something I’ve been trying myself, with great results.

It’s three steps, and anyone can do them. This is an algorithm that can be repeated over and over, all day long. It starts with a basic assumption: that we are all human beings capable of goodness, of love, of pain, of broken hearts and passionate love. That we all have bad days, that inside our jaded exteriors is a person who just wants love.

It is based on my observation that we take other people for granted, and that we judge others and become irritated with them for almost no good reasons, and we expect everyone to make us happy or at least behave the way we want them to, and if they don’t, our day is ruined. That’s crazy. People are living their own lives, and aren’t trying to please us or act in accordance with our expectations, and once we accept that, we can be happy.

Here are the three steps. They might sound silly to some of you, but I urge you to give them a try. For just one day. Even just an hour. They are powerful, and they work.

1. Think “I love you, and I’m thankful for you” to every single person today. This sounds kinda silly perhaps, but it works. Seriously, try it. Look at each person you pass or encounter today, and think to yourself (as if you’re talking to the person you’re looking at), “I love you, and I’m thankful for you.” Try to say it with feeling. Mean it! Even to those you pass on the street, in the elevator, while you’re driving (you might only see them for a split second, from a distance).

2. Smile at that person, and look them in the eye. Many of us are used to not looking people in the eye, avoiding contact. But looking someone in the eye is acknowledging their existence and human-ness, and establishing a connection. Smiling helps pass your happiness on to others. Obviously you can’t do this if the person is far from you or driving past you, but when you can, apply this step.

3. If you feel comfortable, say it aloud to that person. Say, “I love you and I’m thankful for you.” You’ll probably only say this to people you know very well (though the bold among you might say it to strangers!). If you’re not comfortable with that, try to say it with actions instead of words. A simple hug, doing something nice, spending time with someone while treating them kindly, doing a favor without expecting a return favor, just being thoughtful. Obviously you can’t do this step with everyone you pass, but the more people you apply this step to, the better.

Try these steps, please.

Also know that I love you. And I’m grateful that you’re alive.

(To learn more from Leo, please kindly visit his website at: http://www.zenhabits.com)


#147 Move Your Attention at Will, by John Sherman

Posted: March 19th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Life | 5 Comments »

Just One Look – An experiment in the power of human consciousness to free itself from the fear of life.

Step 1: Learn to Move the Beam of Your Attention at Will

To begin, just relax for a moment, and notice the obvious fact that you have the power to move your attention at will.

As you read this, move your attention away from the text for a moment, and direct it instead to the feel of your breathing.

Notice the feel of your chest and belly expanding and contracting, and then bring it back here to this page.

Do that a couple of times so that you become familiar with what I mean by “moving the beam of your attention at will.”

That action of moving attention at will, as you just did, is all that’s needed to accomplish what I am asking you to do. The more you practice this simple act, the more you’ll become familiar with how it feels to do it. And the more familiar you become with the feel of it, the more skillful and direct you will be in the effort to move the beam of attention where it must go.

Step 2: Turn the Beam of Your Attention Inward

Now, use that skill to actually turn the beam of attention inward. Try to make a direct, unmediated contact with what it actually feels like to be you, just plain and simple you.

When I say you, I don’t mean the thoughts that pass through you, nor the emotions that play in you, nor the sensations that rise and fall within you, I mean just you. You are that which is always here, try to look at that. Everything else comes and goes in you. You already know what you are, and what it feels like to be you, so you will surely recognize yourself when you see yourself in this way.

There is no need to try and stay there, resting in your self or any such thing. All it takes is the length of a heartbeat, so brief that you will hardly notice it. It really is that simple.

Repeat this as often as it occurs to you to do so.

There is no step three.

I call this action looking at yourself. If you will do just that, the day will come soon when all your disaffection with life will begin to depart, and with it the perception of your life as a problem to be solved, a threat to be destroyed, or the hiding place of some secret treasure that might bring you fulfillment and satisfaction at some future time.

– John Sherman, RiverGanga Foundation