“Yesterday is only a dream and tomorrow is only a vision; but today, well-lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.”
Here are seven concrete steps that you can take to bring about positive change. Based on ancient Hindu wisdom, these steps can help anyone to begin exercising their free will constructively to create a better, happier, more fulfilled life.
Remember, it can take time before a conscious mode of behavior filters into your subconscious and becomes automatic.
It is your breathing that gives birth to your thoughts. The breath, without which you cannot even exist, is necessary to transform an idea into a living reality. Deep breathing indicates healthy lungs, which in turn manufacture prana, the subtle form of breath or life force, responsible for giving you strength and energy.
Deep, balanced breathing–in which the cycle of inhalation and exhalation is effortless–creates a state of inner calm in which clear, objective thinking can occur. You can become more focused on the immediate issue without losing sight of the greater context.
Once you are able to think clearly about a situation or a problem, you will know how to act. You will be able to discriminate between what you want and what you need, between attraction and love, and between what is really good for you and what is not.
Repeated appropriate actions create a positive habit. While these actions may require conscious effort at first, over time they become second nature.
Habits provide the foundation of your character. Once a series of repeated actions becomes unconscious habit, you realize that you have begun to change your past tendencies.
Your behavior reflects the changes in your character. Others will perceive you as wiser and more loving.
With a more positive attitude and behavior, the circumstances of your life will improve. You’ll find greater harmony in your work, in your personal relationships, and in your spiritual life.
Adapted from Love In the Palm of Your Hand, by Ghanshyam Singh Birla (Inner Traditions, 1998).