Just like we have different bank accounts, so do we also have various spiritual accounts. One of the most important spiritual accounts we have is our Happiness Account. The account with the most deposits of your energy will grow—think of this as your Happiness Return on Investment (HROI).
What often happens, however, is that instead of making deposits into our Happiness Account, we squander away the currency of our energy into stress, worry, and comparison.
Practicing Accountability for Our Wellbeing
Through our yoga practice, we learn to be self-cognizant and responsible for our feelings and happiness. When we’re on the yoga mat, we’re accountable to be present to every sensation taking place each moment.
This accountability—and the state of being present—directly correlates to the appreciation for our life’s blessings. Swami Vivekandanda says, “We are responsible for what we are and whatever we wish ourselves to be. We have the power to make ourselves."
The very line in the Yoga Sutras is translated as "Now begins the study of yoga." Chapter 1, Verse 1 implies that we are ready to accept responsibility. In other words, no one is "making" us do anything. We are accountable.
This shift to taking responsibility for our happiness is key in accessing the power of yoga and transforming your life.
Taking Responsibility for Your Happiness
Be vigilant, however, of the following three habits that jeopardize your acceptance of responsibility, such as:
- The tendency to make comparisons
- Living in your future’s wishlist and not appreciating your present life
- Complaining about your present—whether it be your career, relationship, or any other factor
We must remember that we always have a choice. The choices we’ve made yesterday need not hold us back from choosing a better today. Instead, practice hoping for and assuming the best possible outcome, and it will follow.
Barbara Frederickson, a professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, explains that positive emotions allow us to see more, while negative emotions tend to narrow our thinking.
Physically speaking, our bodies are designed to allocate energy into two buckets—fight or flight. Both are emotionally translated into fear (flight) or love (fight), and the bucket that receives the most deposits of our energy will grow.
You and only you hold the key and responsibility for your individual HROI. No matter what challenges we face, we can always choose to invest in our own happiness. Try it for a week, and feel the abundance of joy that your HROI generates!