What is life? It is an endless struggle to achieve something, working day in and day out. In this daily struggle we forget about the little things, the things that make us happy, that make us proud, satisfied. We forget to take a moment and enjoy life, to take in the beauty of nature, to help others, to make others smile. Isn’t that what good karma is all about? Karma is an Indian concept, going way back to the time of Gautama Buddha, who taught that whatever you do in life, whether good or bad, it’ll come back to you, one way or the other. The concept of action and deed, you reap what you sow . People do a lot of good deeds, sometimes, simply in the hopes of achieving something but that is not what makes good karma. It involves a few selfless deeds, doing without wishing or hoping for something in return, a gift or favor. No that is not what we must do, we must be selfless, freely giving and it will not only make you happy but you’ll also have a clear conscience. Here are a simple few activities to achieve good karma.
10. Don’t get angry
Yes we all have temper tantrums sometime during the day because of work or home related stress, frustration or simply exasperated at something or someone but learn to control your temper. If you have temper issues, try to be calm or doing yoga, it soothes the mind. Don’t get angry or upset about trifle things instead try to sort them out with peace and understanding. If you’re angry at someone, don’t yell or shout at them, try to make them understand and you’ll feel better. I know it’s hard because we all have those kinds of people around us who poke and prode incessantly and you can’t help but feel irritable and although you might be boiling with anger, suppress it, try to smile. Walk away smiling from the situation and this will prevent fights and arguments. But do certainly lose your temper if it’s for a justifiable cause. It’s rather unhealthy to constantly suppress your emotions, you’ll explode!
9. Be Religious
I’m not a prude and I don’t say go to the church or temple everyday but going to a religious or holy place is good, once in a while, once in a week. Religious places have that aura of calmness that instantly comforts the soul so go out there sometime. You can go to meditate or just sit quietly; you can go to one of those gorgeous churches with domes and steeples, which are nearly empty during the week. It’s very refreshing or you can go to the temple to offer prayers and thanks because the energy in these places is divine and long lasting. If you pray every day, that’s great but if you don’t then try to remember god, at least on Sundays. If you’re happy about something, say a little prayer. If you’ve achieved something, say a little prayer of thanks. Because it is not always because of our efforts that we achieve something but sometimes a higher power is also involved, Believe it or not.
Donate! Yes! Go out there and support a local charity or donate or do some volunteering or community work. It’s good and helps out the less fortunate. We’ve all been blessed with abundance of things and even though we don’t lead perfect lives and don’t have everything we wish for, always remember that there are people out there who starve and don’t get to have a decent meal. So if you have extra clothes or food or books or anything donate it to an orphanage or charity. If everyone donated whatever they have in spare, this world would be a better place and not many of our fellow beings would be languishing in poverty. Volunteer to clean up your area, pick up the litter or just planting new trees around. Visit an orphanage and read poems and stories to the children, their smiles of happiness would give you great joy. And we can all donate to make ease each other’s pain and sorrow. That will definitely get you some good karma points.
7. Be Compassionate and Kind
Make this your religion; compassion and kindness, for these are the greatest virtues man can ever have. For as the Bible says, “And of some have compassion, making a difference.” Help out, do something nice, be kind and polite, Give a helping hand. Mankind has survived over the years because of compassion and kindness even though there have been numerous forces of evil and wickedness. Don’t you think the world might have been destroyed after all the hunger, pain and poverty and wars? How did it survive? It did because some men and women were sympathetic, merciful and mindful of others. If you see someone struggling, lend them a helping hand, if you see someone begging, give them food or money. Being compassionate doesn’t involve simply being kind to friends or loved ones but it is the mercy and charity that we show to strangers that counts.
6. Think Positive
Spare some time for yourself, reflect upon your mistakes and always think positive. Have you ever heard of the common saying, “Accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative?” It applies to all of us. If you feel you’re failing somewhere, improve yourself. If you’re not sure about something, then think positive. It might be hard and it might seem that it does not work but believe me keeping a positive frame of mind eliminates doubt and confusion. If you’re in a bad situation, don’t keep speculating about what will happen or what bad things might follow but be assertive and confident. Be optimistic instead of being pessimistic, being negative about situations and emotions will only worsen things. Have an optimistic view of life and believe that good things will follow and most of all never, never give up or lose hope. Hope is what keeps us alive.
5. Help an Elderly Person
If you see an elderly person trying to cross the road, help them out. If you see an old women trying to carry around heavy shopping bags at the mall, take a minute and help her carry the bags. If you have grandparents living at a nursing home and even you don’t, drop by sometimes. Talk to them, don’t think of them as old fools, they’ve seen the world, they have knowledge and experience. So talk to them and listen to them, don’t interrupt with your own thoughts. You can cheer them up with songs or movies even though they might seem grumpy or surly. A lot of them lead sad lives, reminiscing about their past, waiting for their children and grandchildren to show up. So make a difference, try to sit with them and joke and laugh. Send some good vibes of love and compassion to the elderly.
4. Love Others
“Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.” Love others; it’s as simple as that. Don’t hold grudges in your heart about someone but forgive them. If someone does something wrong, then talk to them about it and instead of getting worked up forgive them. Go out of your way to help others. Keep a clear and clean mind about others. Loving others doesn’t mean falling in love with everyone, it’s very easy to have that warm fuzzy feeling about someone but sustaining that emotion of sympathy and forgiveness is what matters. Even if it hurts you, let go off those ill feelings, they simply block your path to happiness. It will benefit you in the long run and you’ll emerge a stronger person. Compliment someone and make them aware about their achievements.
3. Love your Family
This is very important if you want to gain good karma points. We might get upset with our parents and a lot of us stop talking to them after a few fights and cut all familial ties but parents and family is the most important people in your lives. Don’t let small arguments injure your long lasting relationships. They’ll support you throughout and love you and help you. Give something back to your parents, if you live far away call them up regularly and tell them how you appreciate them for working hard all their lives so you could have the basic necessities of life. Prepare hot meals for them for no reason, take them out, enjoy their company and tell them how much you love them. Sit with them, have long conversations with them, tell them about your life and ask them about theirs too. Every parent loves being involved in their child’s life so make them feel important and cared for.
2. Love Thyself
All of the above pointers would only work if you love yourself. If you can’t respect your own self, you can respect the whole world or anything in it for that matter. Lead an honorable life so that when you grow old you can reflect back and think and be satisfied. If there’s something you don’t like about yourself, try to change it and if it can’t be changed, accept it, For there are millions of people who don’t have what you have. Remember outer beauty is trifle and fading, so don’t obsess over your outer appearance. Let go of your self-doubts and low esteem. Don’t blame yourself for everything and cultivate your interests and talents. Try to think about your positive aspects and not the negative ones. Don’t obsess about what you could have or what you could have had but be happy and content with what you have. Self-love is not a crime, but it is the very key to self-empowerment, happiness and joy. Remember if you’ve conquered yourself you’ve conquered the world.
Smile! It’s the most important thing. It doesn’t involve much. All you have to do is spread your lips apart wide and if you care, bare your teeth. Be it toothy, grinning or beaming, a smile can brighten just about anything. Make it a genuine smile and not a fake or phony one. A genuine smile is heartfelt and instantly lights up the eyes, your lips crinkle and you burst out smiling. Smile about the good things, about the wonderful and marvelous things. Compliment someone smiling and make someone proud. Smile to the elderly, to the children, to your parents, your friends and family. Smile with your eyes, they are the windows to your soul. A smile can lighten up your day and brighten your prospects. Give a smile to a stranger and make their day better. Smile when you ‘re in a difficult situation, when you’re down because it cultivates a positive environment.