How To Feel Good

By Leo Gura - April 10, 2014 | 9 Comments

The reason you aren’t happy, and how to create consistently good feelings in your life.

Video Transcript

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Hey, this is Leo from Actualized.org, and in this video I want to talk about how to feel good.

Feelings Of Joy

Let’s talk about how to feel good. What does it take to feel good in your life? If you’re asking yourself this question, then I would assume you’re not feeling as good as you believe you could be. That’s good. That’s a good start. You probably could be feeling a lot better then you are feeling right now.

How do we tackle this problem? Let’s take a look at it like this: basically, to feel good in your life means,very simply, to live your life good. Live a good life and you will feel good. Live a bad life and you will feel bad. This is kind of an old-school concept. This is a concept you can find going back to the ancient Greeks, Buddhist ideas and classic Hindu ideas from texts like the Upanishads and that kind of stuff.

They talk about living a good life. The Greeks talked about living a good life, living a virtuous life. The reason they were so hot on that, and the reason we are so hot on it today, as a culture, is because they realised this was the true path to happiness. The stuff we usually think will work doesn’t work. The stuff consumer society tells us will make us happy doesn’t actually make us happy.

Ancient Wisdom

The ancient seers, the ancient sages realised this and tried to teach it to the masses, but the masses tend to rebel and not want it. They don’t want the wisdom, and so they tend to go and do the easy stuff that they think will give them pleasure, titillation, make them feel good. That ends up backfiring on them, and then they come back to the sages crying, asking “Why did that hurt me so bad? Why don’t I feel good? How do I feel better?”

The sage will say “I told you — live a good life, and you will feel good. Live a bad life, and you will feel bad.” I’m going to introduce two terms to you. These are two Sanskrit terms that I got from Eknath Easwaran, who was a scholar on ancient Hindu and Buddhist texts.

There’s this ancient idea from the Hindus, I think it comes from the Upanishads, it’s written in Sanskrit, two Sanskrit words. One is called “preya” and the other one “shreya”. What is this? Preya is pleasure. It is immediate gratification. It’s the pleasure principle. It’s the stuff that feels good right now. Preya is eating a big chunk of chocolate fudge cake. Preya is going on a rollercoaster ride. Preya is going to Disneyland and eating some hot-dogs, having fun with the kids. Preya is having ridiculous sex, amazing, ridiculous sex. Preya is eating those barbecue ribs. Preya is alcohol, recreational drugs, winning the lottery, being lucky and something falling on your lap, or getting a large chunk of money, like a windfall. That’s preya – immediate gratification.

What is shreya? Shreya is doing the right thing. The thing that has lasting benefit. What has lasting benefit? Does that chocolate fudge cake have lasting benefit? Probably not. Do those recreational drugs have lasting benefit? Are they the right thing to be doing? Is that living the good life? Probably not.

This applies to all the other preyas out there. A lot of us are really caught up in the preyas, and are not doing enough shreya. Shreya is the long-term stuff that’s good for us. Preya is the short-term stuff that’s bad for us. We’re doing too much short-term stuff, thinking it’s going to satisfy us.

Common Misconceptions

We think the television will satisfy us, the movies, the girlfriend, the boyfriend, the drugs and food, whatever other addiction you have, the internet. We think those things will really satisfy us. That makes us very confused. Ultimately, we think “Well, isn’t that the way to get maximum happiness? To go after the stuff that’s giving us the most pleasure?”

You might think that, but that’s a naive notion of happiness. It’s really naive. If that could be done, I would do it. I have no real moral compunctions against drugs or greasy food or sex or anything else that’s immediately gratifying. I have nothing against it. I’ve partook in all of it myself.

The question now is will that make you happy? Will that make you feel good? What you recognize, after you’ve tried that a bit, is that it won’t. The reason the sages, the seers and all the wise men of thousands of years ago tell us to do the right thing and live a good life is because they can see what’s going to happen.

They can see what’s going to happen when the instant gratification leads us off a cliff to our doom. They can see that’s going to come, and maybe you don’t see that right now. You have to see it in your own life too. You have to become a sage within your own life and see that, to feel good in your life, if you want consistent, high quality good feeling, then it’s not the easy stimulating stuff you have to be going after.

It’s the more ethereal, long-term, you might even say spiritual values they have to be going after. It’s that stuff that’s going to make you fulfilled. It’s that stuff that’s going to make you feel really good. What does that mean?

It’s Not Going To Be Easy

That means hard work. All the classic values: hard work, honesty, discipline, loyalty, exhibiting love, being excellent at what you do, being generous and giving back to the world, being compassionate. All of these classic values that sound kind of lame, but without them — they’re classic for a reason. Without them, you literally will not feel good. It’s not going to be possible.

You have to start to challenge your own naive notion of happiness. Until you do that, you’re going to be going after the short-term stimulating stuff, and that’s not going to work. If it did work, then I would be up here telling you to do all that stuff. I would be doing it myself, because, ultimately, I’m about maximizing my happiness.

To maximize my happiness, I found out that it’s not going to work through these little short-term fixes and little hits of stimulation I’m getting. I’m going to have to go all out, much deeper. Think more like a sage than a drug addict. Who’s happier: a sage or a drug addict? Interesting question.

Now With More Happiness

The next point is, what is an advanced notion of happiness? An advanced notion of happiness is actually hard work and discipline. It’s working towards something that you value. It’s that what you’re working towards is something that benefits the rest of humanity.

Ultimately, your greatest satisfaction is going to come from personal growth, in your own life, and contribution, giving back to the world. Contribution can take form in so many ways. You can start a business, you can have a career that contributes, you can be contributing with your volunteer time or you hobbies.

Ultimately, I would encourage to get your business and your career in line with contribution. Also, your personal growth. So you’re growing personally and you’re contributing to the world. That is what’s going to make you feel good. That’s how you become a solidly grounded, feel-good type of person. That’s giving you consistent, even-keeled happiness. Steady, rock-solid, rather than this spiky, up and down rollercoaster that you’re going through right now.

Even the happiness that you are getting from that is a low level of happiness. It can’t even compare, it’s not even on the same scale, it won’t register on the same scale as the kind of happiness you get when you, for example, create a business that actually helps millions of people. Or when you’re working on a career where you get to help even a couple of individual people, but you really get to help them.

You get to share your gifts with them, share your knowledge, your expertise, some of your talents through your business or your career. That’s real happiness.

It’s getting your life on track with that. It’s the principle of right action. The principle of right action states that you do what is right, regardless of what you feel like in the moment. If you’re not feeling very happy in your life, then it’s probably because you’re slacking on this. It’s because you know there are right things you should be doing, the good stuff, the shreyas, the things that are giving you lasting benefit, but you’re not actually doing them, because of the immediate gratification you’re getting from the comfort that you’re wanting to have, the immediate pleasure.

A perfect example: go to the gym. You know you should, but you don’t, because you think that slacking on your couch is going to make you feel happier. Then going through the discipline and effort involved with getting your ass up and going to the gym. But actually, going to the gym is what is going to make you happy. That’s what’s going to make you feel good.

Not going to the gym? That’s going to make you feel bad, even though it seems it will make you feel good in the short term.

Starting to take right action, being very disciplined about this principle of right action. How do you start to turn your life around? Especially if you’re in a place where you’ve got a lot of these preyas preying on you? You want to get more into the shreya territory. How do you do that?

Practical Advice

Here’s a couple of ways. I’m going to give you ways to start building good habits. That’s what you’ve got to start doing. Right now, you’ve got bad habits, habits that are holding you down and making you feel miserable. What you want to start doing is replacing those with good habits.

What are some good habits? Meditation. Taking time by yourself — I call that solitude — time to sit, introspect and contemplate. Journaling — another awesome habit — sit down and write your thoughts out on paper. Reading — awesome, powerful habit for personal development and growth and making yourself feel good. Studying — by that I don’t just mean reading, but actually going out and actively researching some topic you’re interested in — something related to your career, or maybe a hobby that you have. Work, hard, hard work towards something that’s actually productive and meaningful. That’s one of the most powerful habits you can have. In fact, it’s almost like a spiritual habit. This was a spiritual discipline thousands of years ago. That’s for a reason, because when you’re working hard, you get into a state of flow. You start to feel a dissociation with your lower self. You start to feel the higher qualities of you, the humanity inside you come forward. That feels amazing. Gym — definitely encourage that, some form of exercise like yoga or gym. Do that. Eating right, eating healthy — also important if your diet is horrible, they you’re going to have a hard time establishing other positive habits. Addictions — definitely eliminate any kind of addictions you have, whether it’s television, internet, sugar, food, shopping, there’s a whole list of them and I have videos about eliminating addictions and the importance of that.

No Negative Thoughts Allowed

The last point I would make is: eliminate and weed out negative thoughts. You have to weed out the negative thought that keep coming up in your mind. If you’re always thinking negatively, it turns into a habit as well. It’s a negative thinking habit. You have to start to shift that into a positive thinking habit. That can take some work. I’m not going to go into all the details of that.

Here are some good ideas for you how to start feeling good in your life. You have to make the shift. Initially, when you do make the shift, it will be painful. If you’re hooked on drugs, on shopping, television, internet, video games, any of that kind of stuff, you’re doing stuff that’s giving you immediate gratification it’s going to be hard to wean yourself off of it.

At some point you reach your tipping point. You start to realise the stuff you’ve been doing doesn’t work. It’s making you feel bad, and you really want to feel consistently good. The point when you realise that is the point where you really start to expand your horizons. It’s the point where your personal growth really starts to take off. That’s when it happens.

Then you start to slowly, through a painful process, put in some of these good habits. Eventually, those good habits crystalize, they solidify within you. They you start to run on autopilot, but on good habits rather than bad. When you get there, you will start to feel good.

Here, what I did is, I didn’t give you some sort of little magic pill for how to feel good. I gave you the classic, ancient wisdom with a little bit of a modern spin on it about how to practically make this happen. Modern personal development ideas.

Ultimately, this dates back thousands of years. That’s because it’s true. You know that the stuff you’ve been doing right now you’ve got to cut out. It’s been making you feel bad.

Wrap Up

That’s it, that’s how to feel good. I’m signing off. Go ahead and post your comments down below. Please like this and share it. Click the like button right now. If you do like this, go ahead and you’ll probably like the stuff that I’m shooting at you every week through my newsletter even more.

Exclusive, free videos that I’m posting every week. Videos, articles, other goodies that I’m releasing. That stuff is all telling you, ultimately, how to be in alignment with living a good life. How do you live a good, right life? Not in a lame way, but an exciting, adventurous, fun way. A youthful, vigorous kind of way.

I’m not going to sit here and sermonize you the way they would do at church. I’m giving you very practical ideas, very practical techniques I’ve found through my own journey, so that you could actually feel good. Don’t you want to feel good? That’s the reason I do all this stuff, so that I could feel good. That’s why I work hard. That’s why I go out there and experiment, read, meditate and do all this kind of stuff.

I’ve taken so much benefit from that in the last few years that I’m happy to be sharing it with you guys. Check out my newsletter, sign up and you’ll be on track to get more of that stuff as it comes out. When you do sign up, you get some exclusive bonuses. You get a nineteen-part video series on how to start busting your top limiting beliefs. Also, you get to win two hours of free coaching with me, which I give away to one of my subscribers every month. So sign up right now.

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Comments
(9)
Angella says:

Thank you for a great vid. All my life I lived according to my principals which were to work, study hard, work out, have a good diet, be honest and do all the good thing, long term happiness. what happened was at some point I realized all that did not give me any happiness. I still feel something empty inside me. I basically ended up with anxiety and so much of it. So I am listening to your vids and I am trying to discover myself. Any advice on how to find happiness aside from doing all the right things?

Leo Gura says:

I have several videos specifically about happiness and really all these videos point the way.

Nancy says:

Know that it is ok to not be happy. Accept and love yourself the way you are. Everything has light and darkness. We have light and darkness in us. Live a life expecting positive and negative to everything in life. If one lives in a one sided world expecting everything to be positive they will be living in a fantasy not reality and then constantly be disappointed all of the time. Research what your values are and do those, only those and not anyone else’s values. When people are not pleased with us its always because we are not living in their values. If one gets upset with others its because they are not living in our values. Living realizing everything has a dark and a light side helps us not to react so much and get anxiety.

Claire says:

I really agree with your comments Nancy- I also think it is important that one is okay with not being happy from time to time. If you are sad, then FEEL sad rather than trying to suppress it- I find that it soon passes if you let it out

Leo Gura says:

Yup!

Nancy says:

Psychology experts in their field actually urge and recommend people who have been in trouble with the law, criminals etc. to watch t.v. instead of beat their spouse. They recommend them to go to the movies, or play games instead of going out and robbing a store. T.V, movies, or sugar is not bad for all people. It is better for people who are prone to get into trouble to get some sugar and be happy with that instead. People young and old who are home bound or bed ridden do these things and can’t get out of the house or get out of be and this makes these not be instant gratification makers for happiness. They are urged to help themselves do anything that helps them not commit a crime. What are your thoughts.

sasha friedman says:

My thoughts are that those people don’t watch these videos.

Leo Gura says:

I’ve never heard of such things. Maybe it’s true, but even so, that’s setting the bar so freaking low. Switching up a lesser evil for a greater evil may be good for a while, but we’re shooting for something much greater with your life here. My passion is for self-actualization.

denzale says:

Great vid!

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