Inner Reflections
May 18, 2020

The 4 Keys To Happiness

“In order to preserve an elevated state of mind, be happy for those who are happy, cultivate compassion for those who are sad, feel joy for those deemed to be lucky, and experience equanimity toward those perceived to be wicked.”

Are you passionate about having a calm, serene, and peaceful mind? Who doesn’t want that, right? In this world where there’s so much stress and so much negativity, I think we’re all thirsty to just be calm and happy. Would you like to not just be happy but to also sustain your happiness and your well-being? Well, this is totally possible by understanding the four keys to happiness, which really have to do with how we relate to others.

There’s a saying in yoga that says, “if you really want to know if your yoga practice is working, take a look at your relationships.” And if your relationships are becoming healthier, more positive, then your practice is working. That’s a really, really good sign.

So much of our life revolves around our relationships; how we relate to family, friends, co-workers, loved ones, strangers, and people that we might connect with on the internet and through social media. If you can master these relationships, then you can master your mind state. You’ll never be able to control everyone around you, but you can always control how you respond to others.

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali states, “In order to preserve an elevated state of mind, be happy for those who are happy, cultivate compassion for those who are sad, feel joy for those deemed to be lucky, and experience equanimity toward those perceived to be wicked.”

So in order to sustain your happiness, in order to keep you in an elevated state of mind, you need four keys.  Key number one is friendliness; key number two, compassion; key number three, joy; and key number four, equanimity. Friendliness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. There are only four locks in the world. Just four. And by having these four keys, you’ll always be empowered to open any lock that you encounter. Now let’s take a closer look at these four keys.

First key; number one says, “when you encounter a happy person, use the friendliness key.”

You’re going to notice when someone in your life is happy– and you might even notice that sometimes it might bring up the opposite reaction within you. You might be down that day, and you see somebody being happy and you just go into a negative reaction or you have a judgment or whatever it is, and the important thing is that whatever that negative response is to somebody else being happy, that you are aware this comes from what’s called your pain body or the ego or what we sometimes call the small self. The self that just thinks about us. If we’re not feeling good and somebody else is, then we’re jealous. Have a sense of humor with your pain body. You want to develop this relationship with it where you see it, you recognize it, and then it will have less and less of a grip on you.

Key number two; when you encounter someone sad or unhappy, use the compassion key. Being compassionate, requires an open and courageous heart. And it takes courage, takes a tremendous amount of courage to be attuned to the great sufferings of the world. We see racism, we see innocent refugees that that are displaced because of war and environmental destruction. And when one group suffers, we all suffer. And we all belong to each other. The beautiful thing is that research shows that when we’re compassionate and give, when we’re generous, whether that’s with our presence, our attention, our knowledge, money, that we also equally receive.

The third key; when you encounter someone successful or lucky, you’re going to use the joy key. If we’re honest, we can really fall short on this third key. And we’ve probably been both the perpetrator and the victim. I’ve seen this happen when a friend gets into a great relationship or maybe they move, a co-worker might get a good promotion, or student surpasses their teacher’s knowledge or level of notoriety, or somebody else gets more followers on social media, as silly as that is. And what do we do? They’re successful. We see them as lucky. And that can stir up a really strong reaction within us.

When we compare ourselves to others, whether we feel inferior or superior, we create tremendous suffering. This is the opposite of sustaining that elevated mood, that elevated mind of just being happy. And we feel that because we feel disconnected. We’re disconnected from what we call abundance consciousness. We only get jealous because we think that there’s not enough, that that person gets that other thing and then they’re taking something from us. And that’s the opposite of abundance.

We can choose another way of moving through life by focusing on abundance. Then the abundance grows and that grows the gratitude and joy. Those benevolent qualities get reinforced. This becomes the pattern. We wire this into a personality, which creates happiness or an elevated mind. You will also become this magnetic personality of happiness and abundance, and then you’re just going to attract more and more of that to you and your life.

The last key, number four. This might be the most difficult of them all. This says when you encounter a wicked person or a hater, use the equanimity key. If we can, we should really do our best to avoid these energy vampires – these people that want to suck onto us and just leech our good energy. Usually the bigger your pain body is, the more unresolved trauma that you carry with you, the more likely that you are to encounter these difficult types of people.

A big ego equals big problems, and no ego equals no problems. So the bigger one’s ego is, the bigger their pain body is, then they’re going see that playing itself out in this world of form through experiences, people, and therefore our relationships. But the more pure your energy is, usually the less conflicts and issues that you have. This is why practice is so important. Our practice of resolving our traumas and our old stories, and moving through those demons, and liberating those.

The next time somebody says something hurtful to you; ask yourself, is it true? And if it’s not, just let it go. And of course, no happy person, no healthy, stable person, is going around the world and trying to hurt other people.  Only hurt people try and hurt other people. Have that wisdom and that clear understanding; it’s not about you. It’s about them.

It’s okay to receive fair criticism. We should take that in when it comes from a good place, from a place of love. But when it comes from hate, toxicity, negativity, then it’s not ours to take. That belongs to them. Let them keep it. And therefore, you will maintain a calm, happy, elevated state of mind.

So now that you know these four keys, you’ve got to put them into action. You’ve got to put them into practice.  Bring the friendliness to when you see happy people. See somebody happy, whoever it is, feel happiness for them. When you see somebody suffering, feel compassion for them. If somebody’s very successful, even if it’s somebody that gets something that you want, feel joy for them. Be in that abundance consciousness. Lastly, when you encounter somebody wicked, mean or nasty, keep your mind steady and as soon as you can, get away from that person and remember that whatever they say, whatever they do, it’s not about you.  When you use these four keys with those four locks, you will maintain that elevated state of mind.

Below are some recommended practices for you to reinforce the four keys to happiness, namaste!