Your personal archives and library of joyful moments are stored in your portable G-d-given mental computer. So are your moments of courage, serenity, love for the Creator, and love for kindness.
Knowing that your mind can access the memories of joy and other positive traits makes the entire process of being more joyful much easier.
Just knowing this piece of information is insufficient, however. We must draw our mind's attention to the joy that is already stored within.
Each day you can gain a greater awareness of what you can do to improve your skill of creating more moments of joy, courage, love, and serenity.
This is extremely important, because G-d designed us to avoid the truth we know in our heart, by letting our mind jump to conclusions. One can know someone for 20 years and know him to be a good person, but as soon as we hear negative news, we want to believe instead of following the torah's directive of giving the person the benefit of the doubt.
As my Rabbi says, we want to make up our mind, and don't confuse me with the facts.
Love Yehuda Lave
STEP ONE: Spend at least 30 seconds each day thinking about the WORLD TO COME - Olam Haba - and that we are in this world only as a preparation for the World to Come. This is the purpose of life.
STEP TWO: Spend a few seconds each day in a private place and say to the Almighty, "I love you God." You will be fulfilling a positive commandment from the Torah. This will kindle a fire in your heart and will have a powerful effect on your character. Your exteriority bestirs your interiority. The Almighty is listening. He loves you much more than you love Him.
STEP THREE: Every day do one act of kindness that no one knows about, in secrecy. Have intention beforehand that you are doing this in order to fulfill your program to greatness.
The practice of doing acts of kindliness - Gemilut Hasadim - is one of the three most important functions in the world.
Examples: If your wife is not in the kitchen, clean a few dishes or straighten up for her without her knowing. If you should see something potentially dangerous on the sidewalk, clear it off to the side so no one will get hurt.
STEP FOUR: Encourage someone every day. "The Almighty encourages the humble." Have in mind you are doing it because of the program. Anonymous letters of kindness can do a great deal of good to encourage people.
STEP FIVE: Spend one minute a day thinking about what happened yesterday. "Let us search out our ways and investigate." Everyone should have his mind on what he is doing - by reviewing yesterday's actions daily.
STEP SIX: Make all your actions for the purpose of Heaven. Say it once a day.
Example: "I am doing this in order to be more aware of the Almighty."
STEP SEVEN: Be aware of the principle -- "Man was created in the image of God." Every human face is a reflection of the Almighty. Your face is like a screen and your soul like a projector which projects on your face the glory of the human soul which has in it the greatness of the Almighty. Once a day pick a face and think "I am seeing the image of God." You will begin to understand the endless nobility of a face.
STEP EIGHT: Once a day give a person a full smile. Just as the Almighty shines on us, we should smile on others. Smile because the Almighty wants you to, even though you really don't want to.
When you smile have intentions that you are doing it for the purpose of coming closer to the Almighty through the Ten Steps To Greatness.
STEP NINE: "The Almighty clothes the naked." Clothing is a testament to the nobility of man. Man is unique -- has free will, has a soul, made in the image of the Almighty. Even Angels are beneath man in greatness. To demonstrate the superiority of mankind, we must be clothed. Spend 30 seconds in the morning thinking about our garments: what a gift they are from the Almighty.
STEP TEN: Spend time each day thinking about the olden Jerusalem during the time of the Temple. Every day sit on the floor (before going to sleep), spend one second on the floor and mourn for the destruction of Jerusalem. Think "If I should forget you Jerusalem, let my right arm forget how to function" (Psalms 137:5).
"The wise man seizes the opportunity to do mitzvot" (King Solomon). The lazy person says -- someday I'll do it. If you start this program, after 30 days you will be tired. So, wait six months until you start again. Do another 30 days then wait five months and so on. After a while you might do it all the time. If you do it even one day you are extraordinary!
Self designed RETIREMENT PLAN
Outside England's Bristol Zoo there is a parking lot
for 150 cars and 8 buses. For 25 years, its parking
fees were managed by a very pleasant attendant.
The fees for cars ($1.40), for buses (about $7).
Then, one day, after 25 solid years of never missing
a day of work, he just didn't show up so the zoo
management called the city council and asked it to
send them another parking agent. The council did
some research and replied that the parking lot was
the zoo's own responsibility. The zoo advised the
council the attendant was a city employee. The city
council responded that the lot attendant had never
been on the city payroll.
Meanwhile, sitting in his villa somewhere on the coast
of Spain, France, or Italy, is a man who'd apparently had
a ticket booth installed completely on his own and then
had simply begun to show up every day, commencing to
collect and keep the parking fees, estimated at about
$560 per day for 25 years. Assuming 7 days a week
this amounts to just over $7 million dollars and no one
even knows his name!!!