If you are inspired to go on a journey of self-improvement to uplift your happiness levels then there are endless self-help books to choose from.
One best-selling author and spiritual teacher who is globally popular in this field is Eckhart Tolle. He is well known for his international bestselling books – in particular The Power of Now and A New Earth.
The New York Times has described him as “the most popular spiritual teacher in the United States”. His fans include Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra, author of The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. If you google him, you’ll find pictures of him with the likes of the Dalai Lama.
The German-born writer is the opposite of the very tall, larger-than-life presence of someone like Tony Robbins, who inspires many about what to do to change their lives. Robbins shouts, roars, and gets his audiences dancing and hyped up to take action and to make life changes. Tolle by contrast is smaller, quieter, and almost whispers his teachings as he sits. He is all about inspiring people to be more conscious in the world and writes in his books that change is possible if we choose to mindfully think differently.
A prolific writer, he shares wisdom on how to live with more inner peace, presence, and purpose. His teachings are non-religious. The result of actioning his methods is a happier, less reactive, more grounded and balanced life. So, that means less anxiety, inner trauma and turmoil.
Eckhart Tolle is coming to New Zealand. As part of his international speaking tour, he will be in Auckland on March 14.
10 ways to create a better life
1. Resist being caught up in a consumer-driven society where you keep buying more things. Tolle teaches you to observe your identification with things and “your unchecked striving for more”. He reasons that “the ego satisfaction of buying things is short-lived. So you keep looking for more, keep buying, keep consuming”.
2. Quit complaining about others as this will not make you, or anyone else, feel uplifted. Tolle teaches you to see if you can catch yourself complaining about something, or someone and then to stop. “Recognise it for what it is. The voice of your ego, a conditioned mind pattern”.
3. Let go of any hate or hard feelings that you have towards others as this will not help you to live a fully inspired and happy life. If you have a grievance with someone then instead see it and free it.”Forgiveness happens when you see it has no purpose other than to strengthen a false sense of self, and ego”.
4. Stop criticising others and being unkind as this will not help you, or others, to feel good. See that the ego may be at play if you feel someone has more, knows more, or can do more than you. “Let go of the ego’s need to feel superior. Resist from diminishing, criticising, or belittling the other person’s possessions, knowledge or abilities”.
5. Nurture authentic, genuine and real relationships in a generous way without wanting anything in return. Supportive relationships help to uplift your happiness levels. Genuine relationships have a flow of open, alert attention towards others. “It’s all about presence. There is no wanting from another person. There should be no image-making or self-seeking”.
5. Stop, pause and take time to consider how you live your life in the way that you wish to live. Feel inner peace by creating gaps in the stream of your thinking. “Without these gaps, your thinking can be repetitive, uninspired, devoid of any creative spark, which is how it still is for most people”.
6. Be authentically yourself to feel happier. Don’t confuse knowing about yourself with knowing yourself. Your past does not determine your future. “Your mind does not have to be about your past. Knowing yourself is being yourself”.
7. Learn mindfulness practices to feel more present and happy in the moment. Stop feeling stuck and living in “the past” or trying to manipulate the future. Ask yourself what is your relationship with the present moment? “The present moment is all you ever have. Learn to be present in the now. There is only ever this moment”.
8. Seek to enjoy life, accept life, and live life with enthusiasm – because these things can make you happier. Tolle writes that “the modalities of awakened doing are acceptance, enjoyment and enthusiasm. Each represents a vibrational frequency of consciousness. If you are not in one of these states then you are likely creating suffering for yourself or others”.
9. Notice what makes you feel alive and do more of these things to uplift your life. You can feel “aliveness” when you are doing something you enjoy. “When you make the present moment, instead of the past and future, the focal point of your life, your ability to enjoy what you do – and with it the quality of your life – increases”.
10. Know that the thoughts you focus on will impact how you feel. “Notice if the pain you feel in your life originates from within yourself. Awaken to this and find space. Find an inner peace in what you are experiencing in the present moment”.