The human brain is designed to protect itself and anticipate dangers. This negativity bias prevents us from seeing the world in an optimistic light. We tend to remember only the bad things we have done. This is why it is necessary to make a conscious effort to improve the positive perception we have of ourselves.
We Always Regret Our Bad Decisions
We often think about our bad decisions and have little gratitude for our good decisions. However, it is our good decisions that have contributed to the positive elements of our current life. Not everything is rosy, but not everything is black.
To Act Well, You Must Sometimes Act Badly
We are not all wise and bad experiences are often the ones that teach us the most about life.
A Guilty Conscience Is Not A Good Advisor
Too often we let our bad conscience overwhelm us. It prevents us from seeing things as they are and so we brood over bad thoughts.
Good Or Bad Actions Can Only Be Distinguished By The Intention Behind Them
An important contribution of Buddhism is the notion of intention. An action can be qualified as good or bad depending on whether it is animated by a good or bad intention. The bad actions that we regret are in fact those animated by a bad intention that we know deep down (we cannot hide from it).
A bad intention can be defined in the following way:
– We wish to deliberately harm someone (or a living being) by physical or moral abuse
– We are driven by selfishness to satisfy one’s own needs
– We are motivated by hatred, anger or fear when we act
A Bad Action
There are 3 things to consider when judging an action: the underlying intention, the nature of the action and its consequences.
An action may be wrong in itself, such as lying, stealing, killing, etc. However, the nature of the action can be qualified by the underlying intention and consequence, for example: someone steals food to feed a starving child.
Developing The Right Intention
To improve good intention, one must improve one’s level of awareness. There is an interdependent relationship between our consciousness and our actions: our good actions reinforce our level of consciousness and our level of consciousness reinforces our good actions.
Planting The Right Beliefs
What causes us to act badly is often our wrong beliefs. We act badly because of ignorance, which is why it is important to educate ourselves. Books or enlightened people can be the best resources at your disposal to improve your understanding of the world.
The Brain Is A Creature Of Habit
It is difficult to change our way of thinking because it is shaped by our habits. Since a habit takes time to form, it also takes time to change in depth. It is the repetition of an action that can change the wiring of our brain.
The 3 Levels Of Good Karma
There are 3 levels of good karma:
– Good thoughts
– Good words
– Good actions