8 simple steps to a better you.

Jogging on a bright November morningphoto © 2008 Ed Yourdon | more info (via: Wylio)

In an earlier post on self suggestion, I had talked about positivity quotient and negativity quotient inside each one of us. The difference in these two quotients determines whether our experience of life is positive or negative. Our positivity quotient increases through positive inputs, eg. good advice from someone, inspiration from someone’s activities, meditation, company of motivating people etc. Similarly, our negativity quotient increases through negative inputs – arguments, jealousy, anger, blaming others for our problems etc. These inputs can come as circumstantial inputs(those that are out of our control) or as consciously created input.

It is the conscious input we will discuss in this post, we have little control over circumstantial input. Although it can be argued that, Law of Attraction and Subjective Reality define all inputs and experiences as self created, we will disregard them for this post.

Adding to your positivity quotient has a lot of short term and long term benefits. On a daily basis, it helps to keep you in a positive frame of mind, keeps your mood good through out the day, helps with making good decisions, makes you feel energized by your activities, helps to interact well with others, work along with others etc etc.

Long term benefits include a higher sense of well being and happiness, detachment from results and expectations, equanimity of countenance, improved productivity, improved relations, alignment with what you love… in general, a better, happier life.

Here are a few things you can do on a daily basis to add to your positivity quotient. These are small steps, but, if observed regularly, can lead to great results.

1. Find a purpose for your life. Call it whatever you will, the meaning of your life, the ultimate goal or the purpose. Nothing feels more uplifting than to seek out a worthy purpose for your life and work towards realizing it. Higher experiences, higher happiness flow out of following a higher purpose. Life becomes fun and adventurous when you have it. Every day becomes something you look forward to. A lot of questions that you found difficult to answer till now, will find very clear answers when you have a purpose to realize.

If you don’t have a big enough purpose, a big dream; life and it’s experiences become mundane, repeated and boring. And these negative feelings only increase with time.

2. Self suggestion. I have already talked about this before in this post . Basically, you set a time of the day to visualize achieving your goals. Imagine what you would do and how you would feel when you have achieved your goals. Do this everyday for a few minutes.

3. Meditation. Meditation calms your mind and brings your focus into the present moment. Done properly, it can make you observe your own feelings as an outside observer and feel. You feel the futility of unnecessary, negative feelings that pull you down, while developing a feeling of peace, contentment and happiness that uplifts you.

4. Seek positive company. One very beneficial step you can take is to get yourself into the company of forward looking, motivating and inspiring people. Too many of us want to improve in life but feel pulled down by the negativity and pessimism of those around us.

You will have to swallow this bitter pill if you want to improve in life. You might have to distance from long term friends and family for this. This does not mean that you have to leave your friends and family for ever or that you are selfish. This will be for everyone’s long term good, even their’s. When they see you doing better in life, you will become a good and motivating example for them to follow. They might blame you of selfishness and rudeness in the beginning but later, will come to you asking for advice.

5. Journal writing. This has also been discussed in a previous post . This requires you to find some time for yourself and analyse your day. It helps in thinking over things with a cool mind, after you have passed the heat of the moment. It helps you to realize what may require improvement. It’s very uplifting and a good problem solving tool too.

6. Read positive literature. This does not mean you have to devour book after book. Just take a book or blog that you find uplifting and motivating, and read a few pages every day. Just a single line or thought that strikes your imagination and gives you a good feeling, is enough.

7. Watch uplifting movies and soaps. Most of us like movies, I like them too. Become a little selective in what you watch. Seek out uplifting movies. Comedies, inspiring dramas are good. Action thrillers and mysteries that keep you on the edge are OK too. Horror movies, gory movies that show a lot of blood splattering, movies that show a dangerous world and the main characters as hapless victims, may better be avoided.

8. Help someone. Take sometime to help someone in a small way. It maybe someone you know, or a complete stranger. You may feel wary of it in the beginning but would love it for the good feeling you get later.

All together, this might look like a lot to do. But you can start with one thing that appeals the most to you. You can add others later, or find other ways that you find more helpful. Our experience of life is totally in our own hands, it’s up to each one of us to make it fun and worthwhile, or to let it slip into sadness, helplessness and boredom.

Let me know if you can think of something else, I will add it to this list.

5 Comments

  • December 28, 2010 - 9:07 am | Permalink

    Nice post… really simple steps that can improve the quality of life.

    And, the 4th point, seeking positive company, that’s an important thing and it’s very effective. Consciously seeking company of positive people (and not just people, it can be positive literature, media, and I’d even say consciously seeking company of positive thoughts :)) can really pull your life in the positive direction.

    On the other side, we need not make too much of an effort to shun negative influences. You made this point too, but let me just expand on this further. I would put it this way: you seek positive people and let others seek you. For example, few years back when I wanted to make some major lifestyle changes, people at my home were not very encouraging. I did not listen to them. Nor did I avoid them. I did not leave them, but I just stayed strong in my resolve. What happened after sometime was that when they saw my lifestyle changes were really good for me, they made those changes for themselves!

    There is a quote, “When you face the sunshine, the shadows fall behind you.” We can improvise on that and say, when you move towards light, the shadows too follow you. But when you try to chase away the shadows, you only move away from the light.

    I read some of your posts today. I salute your spirit, you really have a good blog. Writing your personal experiences and writing from the heart does energize the words in some of your posts. Keep writing, and keep writing from your heart. Cheers :)
    Srini recently posted..A Karma Yogi has one pointed mind Bhagavad Gita 241

    • December 28, 2010 - 9:14 am | Permalink

      Okay, that light and shadow improvisation is not a very versatile one, but I hope you got the point 😉 cheers.,
      Srini recently posted..A Karma Yogi has one pointed mind Bhagavad Gita 241

      • Rahul
        December 28, 2010 - 9:03 pm | Permalink

        Very nice point Srini! The focus should not be upon ‘shunning bad company’ but on ‘seeking good company’.
        While making positive changes, one might face disagreements with close ones. It’s a time to stand firm and focus on your resolve and not to give in to pressure. You can either spend energy on trying to defend your decisions, or you can temporarily detach(physically or mentally) and ignore, while you focus on the positive.
        Your personal example is very apt and worth emulating. I think the light and shadow statement conveys it’s point very well :).
        I am glad you like my blog. I myself want to learn more about the Gita and Advaita, and have a lot to gain from your blog. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your views.

  • Karthik Puthur
    December 29, 2010 - 7:22 am | Permalink

    I have just read one book on living a better life and that is one of the best… “The monk who sold his ferrari”. The points you have listed above is very much in line with the summary of the book…. Nice work Rahul Thanks!!
    http://eddyleks.com/2009/09/29/summary-of-the-monk-who-sold-his-ferrari/

    • Rahul
      December 29, 2010 - 8:01 pm | Permalink

      Really? I’ll have to read that book now :)
      I am glad you like the work here.

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