When you are fundamentally joyous, when you do not have to do anything to be happy, every dimension of your life changes. From the way you perceive the world to the way you express yourself, the context of life changes.
You will no longer have vested interests, because whether you do something or not, whether you get something or not, whether something happens or not, you will be joyous by your own nature. Your actions will rise to a completely different level.
#1 Understand that being joyful is your fundamental responsibility
The first and most fundamental responsibility for an individual is to become a joyous human being. Happiness is not the ultimate aspect of life; it is the starting point. Without this basis firmly established, any action you undertake is an effort. The less happy you are, the harder the effort. Have you noticed that when you are joyful, you seem to have endless energy and everything you do is effortless?
After all, whatever action you perform in the world, it is only your inner quality that you are going to spread. Whether you like it or not, that is the reality. Unless something of value happens within, you cannot do anything of value in the world. So if you are concerned about the world, the first thing you must do is transform yourself into a joyous being.
#2 Realize that joy is your original nature
Whatever you may be pursuing ¬- education, business, power or service - you are doing so because somewhere you believe it will bring you happiness. Every single action that we perform springs from an aspiration to be happy, because that is your original nature. Look back into your childhood; happiness was your way of being. You did not have to work for it, or make an effort towards it. The source of joy is within you; you just need to uncover it.
#3 Put things in perspective
Today morning, did you notice that the sun came up wonderfully well? Flowers blossomed. No stars fell down. The galaxies are functioning very well. Everything is in order. The whole cosmos is happening wonderfully today, but a single nasty thought working through your head can make you believe it is a bad day.
Suffering happens essentially because you have lost perspective as to what your life is about. Your psychological process has become far larger than the existential process, or to put it bluntly, you've made your petty creation far more important than the Creator's creation. That is the fundamental source of all suffering.
We have missed the complete sense of what it means to be alive here. In your present level of experience, a thought in your head or an emotion within you determines the nature of your experience. Thought and emotion may have nothing to do with the limited reality of your life, but they can blind you to the wonder of creation.
#4 See the mind for what it is
What you call as "my mind" is actually not yours. You don't have a mind of your own. Please look at it carefully. What you call as "my mind" is society's garbage bin. Anyone who passes by stuffs something into your head. You really have no choice about whom to receive from and whom not to receive from. In fact, if you say, "I don't like this person," you will receive a lot more from that person.
If you know how to process and use this input, it can be useful. Nevertheless, this accumulation of impressions and information is only useful for survival in the world. It has nothing to do with who you are.
#5 Move from psychological to existential
When we talk about a spiritual process, we are talking about shifting from psychological to existential. Life is about this creation; knowing it absolutely and experiencing it the way it is, not distorting it through the lens of your mind. If you want to move into existential reality, to put it very simply, you have to realize that what you think and feel is not important.
Your thoughts have nothing to do with reality. They have no great relevance to life. Your mind is chattering away with nonsense that you have gathered from somewhere else. If you think it is important, you will never look beyond that.
Your attention naturally flows in the direction of whatever you hold as important. If your thoughts and emotions are important, naturally your whole attention will be right there. But that is only a psychological reality. It has nothing to do with the existential.
Suffering is not showered upon us; it is manufactured. And the manufacturing unit is in your mind. Isn't it time to shut down the manufacturing unit?
#6 Stop pursuing, start expressing
Today we are seeking happiness so vigorously that the very life of the planet is being threatened. You do not need to pursue happiness. If you Look at your life; the most beautiful moments in life are moments when you are expressing your joy, not when you are seeking it.
What you save will never be your quality. What you dispense will be your quality. If you save your joy, at the end of your life no one will take account, "She saved every bit of joy in her; she's the most joyfully dead." They will say, "This horrible creature never even smiled in her life." But if you dispensed your joy and love, every day, people would say, "Oh she was a joyful and loving being."
When you get up in the morning, the first thing you should do is smile. At whom? No one. Why? Just the fact that you woke up is no small event! So many millions of people who slept last night did not wake up today, but you and me woke up. Isn't it great that you woke up? So smile! Then look around. If there is someone there, smile at them. For so many people, someone dear to them did not wake up today morning. Everyone who is dear to you woke up - wow! It's a great day, isn't it? Then go out and take a look at the trees. They didn't die last night either.
You may think this is ridiculous, but you will know the reality of it when someone dear to you doesn't wake up. Don't wait till then to realize the value of it. It is not something ridiculous - this is the most valuable thing - you are alive and everyone who matters to you is alive. Isn't it a fantastic event? Appreciate it and smile at least. Learn to look at a few people lovingly.
#8 Remind yourself to smile!
But then again, maybe in an hour you would have forgotten all this and pretty soon the reptilian brain wants to bite someone. So give yourself a dose once an hour - a reminder of the value of life. If you are very insensitive, remind yourself every half an hour. If you are horribly insensitive, remind yourself every five minutes. It takes only ten seconds to remind yourself. You could do it in just two seconds too - "I'm alive, you're alive. What more?"
#9 Transform what is within
At present, the quality of your life is not determined by the clothes you wear, the educational qualifications you carry, the family background you come from or the bank balances you hold. Rather, the quality of your life depends upon how peaceful and joyous you are within yourself.
Definitely, someone who is deprived of the basic survival needs, someone who is hungry will be need to be uplifted from that physical misery first. That needs to addressed before anything else. But for most others, needs are an endless list. Do you think the man who is driving a Jaguar is happier than the man who is walking on the street? No. Happiness is not decided by what you have. It depends on how you are within yourself.
#10 Stop comparing yourself with others
Most people are miserable not because of what they don't have, but because they are comparing themselves with someone else. You are driving a motorbike, you see someone in a Porsche and you make yourself miserable. Someone on a bicycle, sees you on a motorbike and that looks like a limousine for him. Someone walking on the street looks at the bicycle and thinks, "Wow, if I just had that, what I would have done with my life!" It is a foolish game, but it is goes on and on.
All those people who depend on external situations to be happy will never know true joy in their lives. It is time we look inward and see how to create our own wellbeing from the inside. From your own experience of life, you can clearly see that true wellbeing will happen to you only if your interiority changes. If you depend on the external to bring you joy, it is an endless race as the outside never happens 100% the way you want it. So at the very least, this one person - you - must happen the way you want it to be. If you happen the way you want yourself to be, the very natural choice is joy. That is not something that you have to pursue. If you fall back into your original nature, joyfulness is the only way you will be.