Karma: How’s it working for you?

6323411Karma is a concept that’s been revered by many for centuries. Many of us grew up hearing simplified versions like, “You will reap what you sow,” or in other words, you will get back what you put into things. Our ancestors weren’t far off. It’s just the language that changes. As many people now refer to it as the law of attraction, it may play a larger role in our daily lives than we realize. Some people think of karma as a moral rule to go by (i.e. something to be feared if we’re not good) or an abstract concept that only applies to a couple of things. However, it can be used as a constructive tool for everything we do.

For instance, we reap what we sow when we eat, which most of us are already painfully aware of! The good stuff nourishes our bodies, and the bad stuff, well...not so much. When we lead active lives, we feel good.

Our thinking is no different. The Canadian Mental Health Association indicates that how we look at situations can make them better or worse. Every action, including our thoughts, creates a reaction.

Personally, I know that if I ruminate or worry about negative things, I don’t feel so happy. I’m rather stressed as a matter of fact. In contrast, if I have faith and believe in myself, I can accomplish great things. The greater the effort I put into things, the greater the results and so on. In relationships, we’re taught to treat people how you want to be treated. Most of us know how that goes. A little kindness goes a long way.

So, it makes sense to think of karma as an important motivator for the success of our endeavors on a daily basis – to use as a marker to see how things are going.

You can see how well karma is working in your life by making a list of areas important to you. Check off the ones that are going well, and think about how you can apply karma to those that aren’t. What can you do to get the kind of effect you want?

Researchers concur that we have the ability for greater happiness in our lives, based on the positive efforts we make. In a study on sustainable happiness, Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California indicates the following actions are linked to our well-being:

• Behavioral activity, such as exercising regularly or trying to be kind to others • Cognitive activity, such as reframing situations in a more positive light or pausing to count one’s blessings • Volitional activity, such as striving for important personal goals or devoting effort to meaningful causes

We are responsible for our outcomes – or karma. We can’t only envision what we want; we also have to put those thoughts into action. What we do today can have a positive impact on our lives tomorrow.

To put it more eloquently, “And as is his desire, so is his will; and as is his will, so is his deed; and whatever deed he does, that he will reap.” –Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (4.4.5-6)