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I have known and encountered many people, and I have often pondered why some people are happy and why other people are unhappy with their lives. Several years ago, I began seriously observing someone I know who is extremely happy. Everything this person gets involved with seems to go his way–without fail. He has never had any enemies and is always smiling and laughing. In fact, if you are ever in the general vicinity of this person, you always can tell exactly where he is because of the telltale giggles. I have spoken to other people who knew this person when he was five years old, and they say he was essentially the same as he is today: always happy-go-lucky. Carrying this disposition onward, throughout his adult life, this person has always remained cheerful and content, going about his business happily each day.
This person is one of the few I have ever known to be consistently, genuinely happy. The more I have observed him, the more I think I understand why he leads such a life of contentment. I may be going out on a limb by saying so, but I would profess that if we all lived our lives like this person does, we would all be much happier. It comes down to the simple law of cause and effect.
This person never leaves people out. If there is a party, he makes sure to invite everyone he knows, even those people whom he does not like. His day is spent attending to the needs of others: It could be feeding animals, doing his job as well as he can, helping other people with advice, or, in general, being concerned about others.
This person is naturally concerned about himself, too, but always in a way that relates to others. Having good health, for instance, is important to him because it means he can be there for his children as they grow older. This person’s primary focus is not on himself and is more about creating value for others in the world. He would never be dishonest simply because being dishonest would mean taking a risk that he might hurt others.
Without exception, the happiest people I have known have consistently focused on creating a benefit and providing help for others. Conversely, the unhappiest people I have known have consistently focused on themselves. Happiness and fulfillment are far different from monetary or materialistic wealth. Many people believe that getting rich would bring them happiness. However, in truth, the two seldom go hand in hand. One of my primary concerns is that people discover ways to have happy and fulfilling lives. This is something you should be concerned with as well.
I am very interested in the concept of universal laws. There are laws that, if we follow and observe them, can change our lives. We know that if we step off a tall building, we will fall, and most likely die when we strike the ground. This rather logical conclusion is based on our common acceptance of a universal law that we perceive to be constant and unchangeable. As long as we remain bound to earth, this particular law will affect us.
This is the nature of any universal law. It cannot be changed. When we fail to understand universal laws, we often become upset, angry, and hurt about the world around us. People that do not understand universal laws often ask the wrong questions, become resentful, and eventually find themselves foundering. They may blame others for their predicament. They may pray for helpful intervention by God or some other power to help change their lives for the better. Certain people may believe they are cursed or just unlucky. Universal laws do not discriminate, however. Gravity works against all people. Everyone eventually grows old and dies. All people are subject to these realities.
The simplest and important universal law, one which largely governs your career and life, is the law of karma. Karma deals with the cycle of cause and effect and how it plays out in our lives. Some Hindu writings about karma date back over 5,000 years.
According to these ancient scriptures, Hindus follow the dharma, which means doing what is naturally good and right. Hindus believe that during our lives, our good or bad deeds affect our karma. For example, if you do good deeds, you will experience a good future. If you do bad deeds, then you will experience a bad future. The idea behind karma is essentially that you shall reap what you sow. If you treat someone well, this will impact how you will be treated. If you treat someone poorly, this will likewise affect how you will be treated. Our lives and happiness are largely influenced by our own thoughts and actions, and it is the result of karmic forces at work:
Karma teaches that we reap what we sow many times over.
The people I know who are extremely happy are consistently experiencing happiness due to the universal law of karma. Because they are looking out for others’ needs on a consistent basis, others are looking out for their needs, and they are always repaid in kind. Because they are being honest with others all the time, others are motivated to be honest with them in return. These people end up surrounded by an abundance of positive energy and feedback from the world; a simple trip to the grocery store becomes an exercise in multiple “hellos,” as everyone in the neighborhood is glad to see them.
Hindus believe in gods; however, it is not the gods who are randomly deciding your fate and judging you during your lifetime. Instead, Hindus believe that we have control over the results we experience in our lives, because we are the cause of what happens to us.
This universal law is something I have seen play out time and time again. In the past I have made friends with people who were depressed. I never understood their depression but would have some common interest with the person about this or that, and would stay in touch with them. However, almost invariably, after some time the really depressed people I have known would do something harmful toward me or others.
How do these events and behavior affect the person? People get angry and start treating the person badly. The person’s negative behavior creates a cycle of action that comes back to him, making him feel excluded, wronged, untrustworthy, evil, and so forth. This is what creates the ultimate unhappiness. It is not some random event. Most unhappy people are likely to be violating the law of karma, plain and simple.
Having an understanding and acceptance of this universal law helps us to not be afraid of the world, and it empowers us to create our own future. Most of the events that affect our lives are not, in fact, random–and are actually caused by the karma we create.
Many people believe that their internal state and how they feel is beyond their control. Many people also believe that their career path, amount of wealth, fame, and so forth is beyond their control. This sort of belief system is frightening because it makes life seem hopeless; however, if we understand universal laws and can harness their power, life should never appear hopeless.
Your career and life are totally within your control, and the kind and amount of energy you put out will always return to you. This is just how it works, and this is a universal law that cannot be changed. Now use this information to your benefit, and start living the life you desire.
Karma, or the universal idea that you reap what you sow, governs your career and your life; the karma that you create in the world determine most of the events in your life. Understanding and accepting this universal law empowers you to take control of your life, because you directly control what happens to you. The amount and type of energy that you put into your life will always return to you in kind.