In Taoism, we look at balancing the big 4: resources, relationships, personal development, and personal maintenance. Doing so is a great challenge, but one that pays dividends in your personal happiness and health!
I want you to carry these 3 reminders below with you as part of the quest to being happy .
Reminder 1: Don’t worry. You’re built for this.
Our ability to handle day to day life issues is a result of evolution. We evolved in response to pressures from the environment that required us to be able to handle relationships and manage resources. Those of our evolving species that were unsuccessful in these areas died out. The genes we have now have favored and do favor finding good solutions to those issues.
As for personal development, of all the species, we spend the most time deliberately cultivating ourselves. Even if you personally spend very little time in learning or improving yourself, you outstrip the efforts of other animals dramatically.
Our huge advantage is in the area of personal development and we have risen to prominence because of it.
Even if you are handling your life poorly, since you are built to handle life issues, it will not take an overwhelming effort on your part to get improvement. It will only take effort consistently applied. Not WELL applied. Just consistently applied.
Even a little thing like thinking about bettering your life will better your life.
It is one of the illusions of the social world to believe that change or improvement is impossible. Humans work in these 4 areas because we are built to work in these 4 areas. The blacksmith of evolution has hammered us into being able to do it.
Reminder 2: Very simple things can create tremendous results.
Often we expect greater difficulty than there will be in real life. That expectation creates the idea that one must be elaborately equipped. Even small amounts of spiritual training can move you. Avoid creating an atmosphere of fear, and trust that the tools and your resourcefulness will get you there.
Most happiness problems are not complex. Even when they are, they are usually handled by dealing with them in the same way as small problems. With small, simple changes over time.
Reminder 3: An Easy and Ancient tool–Not doing. Use It First.
A lot has been written on the process of not doing that attempts to explain not doing through interpretation of the text, particularly the Tao Te Ching. Of course, that is despite specific instruction on the text not being an acceptable method of learning written in the text itself. Not doing is not complicated and will occur as a natural outgrowth of meditative study.
Not Doing is learning to not impose your mind upon the world. It is allowing the world to be without you attempting to shape it.
The act of shaping the world shapes you and that is very bad when it comes to establishing balance.
Master Mikel Steenrod
Keeper of the Gate of Man and Heaven
(Lineage Holder of the 4 Ascendant Spheres Purity Adept School of the Tao)