10 Principles for Spiritual Optimism

by Deepak Chopra -

The Path to Joy:
From his newest book, "Why is God Laughing?" renowned teacher Deepak Chopra gives a humorous take on spirituality--using a fictional tale of a comedian and his unlikely mentor to show the way back to hope, joy, and even enlightenment. 
Here are principles for spiritual optimism adapted from the fable that will help you direct your life on a path to joy every single day.


1. The Healthiest Response to Life Is Laughter 

This first principle serves as an antidote to fear and sorrow by encouraging you to experience life as joyous.

When you feel momentary happiness, or you want to burst out laughing, or you smile for no apparent reason, you are glimpsing eternal reality.

In time, these moments of joy will begin to knit together. Instead of the exception, they will become the norm. There is no better way to know that you are growing in God-realization.

2. There Is Always a Reason to Be Grateful 

This second principle is an antidote to victimization. The purpose of gratitude is to connect yourself to a higher vision of life.

Once you realize that you alone are the projector of reality, you will no longer be dominated by external events.

You will correct the mistake that lies at the very root of victimization: a belief that the movie controls you, instead of the other way around.

3. You Belong in the Scheme of the Universe 

There's Nothing to Be Afraid Of. You Are Safe. The third principle is the antidote for insecurity. The role assigned to you is right and proper.

It is tailor-made for you, for your complete self. The voice of fear tries to convince you that you are a helpless victim of chance. The very opposite is true.

At the deepest level, the level of the soul, you are the author of everything that happens to you.

4. Your Soul Cherishes Every Aspect of Your Life 

The fourth principle is the antidote for feeling undervalued. It states that your worth is absolute, and that everything that happens to you - whether it feels good at the time or not - is part of a divine plan unfolding from the level of the soul.

A person's worth is the value of a soul, which is infinite. Since every event in your life isn't happening just to a person but to a soul, everything in life should be cherished.

5. There Is a Plan and Your Soul Knows What It Is 

The fifth principle is the antidote to meaninglessness.

It states that your life has a purpose. You determine that purpose at the soul level, and then that purpose unfolds in daily life as part of the divine plan.

The more deeply you are connected to the plan, the more powerful it becomes in your life. Ultimately, nothing can stop it.

6. Ecstasy Is the Energy of Spirit 

When Life Flows, Energy Is Natural. The sixth principle is the antidote to inertia. It states that infinite energy is available to you.

You are a co-creator with God. To claim your creative power, you need only connect with the primal energies that play within you.

The kind of energy you can call upon at any given moment depends on your level of consciousness.

7. There Is a Creative Solution to Every Problem 

Every Possibility Holds the Promise of Abundance. The seventh principle is the antidote to failure. It tells us that every question includes its own answer.

The only reason a problem arises before its solution is that our minds are limited - we think in terms of sequences, of before and after. Outside the narrow boundaries of time, problems and solutions arise at the same instant.

8. Obstacles are Opportunities in Disguise 

The eighth principle is the antidote to inflexibility. The secret is to abandon old habits and trust in spontaneity.

Whenever you catch yourself reacting in an old, familiar way, simply stop. Don't invent a new reaction; don't fall back on the opposite of what you usually do.

Instead, ask for openness. Go inside, be with yourself, and allow the next reaction to come of its own accord.

9. Evolution Leads the Way Through Desire 

The ninth principle is the antidote to hypocrisy. It encourages us to act on our genuine desires, because they show the way to real growth.

Don't pretend to be better - or other - than you are. Don't fall into the trap of having one face for the world and another to God. Who you really are is exactly who you should be.

10. Freedom Is Letting Go 

The tenth principle is the antidote to attachment. If you let go of what isn't real in your life, what's left will be real: what's left is God alone.

To be free, you must find a way to let go of all the stuck energy that keeps sending the same old messages.

The past is a false guide to the future, and yet it's what most of us rely upon. By letting go of stuck energies, you let go of your past.

Adapted from "Why is God Laughing: The Path to Joy and Spiritual Optimism", Harmony Books