I have found that there are three guarantees in this life, other than death and taxes, which if you do them you will feel better about yourself and your place in the world. I can tell them to you in six words. Be forewarned: you will not get thinner or conquer your addictions if you do these things. You will not get richer though eventual financial security may result, but if even the remote possibility of having less income is unnerving, stop reading immediately, move your piece to Boardwalk and get a copy of the Wall St Journal.
Doing these things will cost you nothing nothing in wealth, something in time and energy, but I will offer my personal guarantee- if you do these things conscientiously for a year and you are not a happier person I will donate $1000.00 to the charity of your choice. These three things are all incredibly simple and obvious, so if you easily feel your intelligence is insulted stop reading, there is a plethora of challenging self help books available.
In order of importance, the first guarantee-
Tell the Truth.
Nothing but the truth. Never let what you know to be a lie come from your lips.
Because the truth will set you free. This is not a platitude. This is deeply imbedded in the human condition. If everything you say is true you will never have to remember a lie. Every lie you tell is a little dragline on your soul. Stop telling them and you will become lighter. A lie is gravity , the truth is helium, guaranteed to lift you.
The truth attracts the truth just as lies attract lies. The more of what you say to the world is true, the more the world will speak truth to you. My greatest revelation in running a business is that you will never have anyone working for you who is more honest that you are... for very long. Our better selves aspire to higher ethical environs. (Sidebar- If someone tells you how honest they are, turn and run.)
Admit your mistakes. If said with truth the words “I’m sorry” are powerful because also imbedded in the human condition is a deep capacity for forgiveness.
Much more difficult is telling the truth to yourself, but as your outer dialogues become more true, the conversations with yourself will follow. This becomes the real work and there are plenty of spiritual books that can guide the path of internal truth telling.
Guarantee two- Help somebody.
No matter how low down, rotten and unfair your life is, there’s someone worse off than you who could really use your help. It is more blessed to give than to receive. This is also not a platitude. The wise have always said that giving more than you receive is the only way to happiness. The expansive feeling from helping another person without thought of repayment is one of the more profound gifts of the human condition- right up there with perceiving beauty.
Guarantee three- exercise.
Endorphins can be a right good high and the only downside to an addiction to them is that your life will far outlast your knees. (Intelligent design? That’s for another day).
Six words. Try ‘em out.