Seeking enlightenment and serenity is an ongoing journey, not a goal or a destination. Making a decision to pursue your inner peace is like making a decision to get in shape: The real goal is to change your mindset, so that you actually enjoy leading a healthy life. If you are overly focused on a specific goal like reaching a certain weight, you are likely to revert back to your old ways once that goal is achieved. The trick is to follow some daily routine, so that over time little activities add up and manifest significant changes: repeatedly lifting weights will build muscle mass, snacking on apples instead of potato chips will change your body fat percentage. Over time, these little actions become habits, and you start feeling an inherent change.

A few years ago, when I started my own personal journey, I started reading obsessively – from the Upanisads, through positive psychology scientific papers, to spirituality and self-help. I experimented with different actions and directions that I read about. Some things worked great for me and some not at all. The Five Steps described in this blog are a product of my own experience, a result of trial and error. I found that to change my state of mind and my outlook of life, and to form healthy daily habits, I had to go through a few initial steps, introducing a new dimension of thought and practice each time. These are:

1) Build Inner Strength

2) Be Present

3) Dump Your Ego

4) Take Responsibility, and

5) Let Love Rule

Before embarking on a journey and hitting the road, one must build the strength to withstand the challenges of the ride. Inherent strength, coming from the inside, and providing ample reserves of energy. That strength, in turn, helps one become more immersed in the present moment, not worrying as much about the future or contemplating the past. A resilient, present individual is ready to peel off defenses and tunnel the energy he has built towards others, letting go of self-importance. And finally, one establishes the strength, focus, and humility to focus on their actions, taking proactive steps, leading to the abundance of love.

These steps are based on a collage of input from recent research and from wisdom traditions, but at the end of the day are simply a summary of a positive process I went through in my own life.

Drop a comment and let me know what you think about it, and whether you have gone through similar stages yourself.

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