The 4 Keys to HAPPINESS
Are you inspired to master your happiness?
Would you like to not just be happy, but also sustain your happiness and your well-being?
If you want to maintain an elevated mind, this podcast is a must listen.
According to ancient yoga wisdom there are only 4 locks in the world, and if you have the 4 keys then you can master your happiness.
In this episode, Travis shares those 4 locks and 4 keys using stories, quotes and practical insights.
Hope you enjoy this inspiring episode!
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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of “The BE ULTIMATE Podcast.” Please note that this is direct from Travis speaking unscripted and unedited.]
Welcome to episode number 27 of the BE ULTIMATE podcast.
This is your host, Travis Eliot, and I hope everything is going well in your world. So let’s jump into this week’s episode of the BE ULTIMATE podcast; The Four Keys to Happiness.
Are you interested? Are you passionate about having a calm, serene, peaceful mind? Who doesn’t want that, right? I mean, especially in this world where there’s so much stress, so much negativity, I think we’re all thirsty to just be calm and happy.
Would you like to not just be happy but to also sustain your happiness and your well-being?
Well, this is totally possible! And in this podcast I’m going to share with you the four keys to happiness, which really have to do with how we relate to others.
There’s a saying in yoga that says, “if you really want to know if your yoga practice is working, take a look at your relationships.”
And if your relationships are becoming more healthy, more positive, then your practice is working. That’s a really, really good sign.
So much of our life revolves around our relationships; how we relate to family, friends, co-workers, loved ones, strangers, and people that we might connect with on the internet and through social media. If you can master these relationships, then you can master your mind state.
You’ll never be able to control everyone around you, but you can always control how you respond to others.
The wisdom that I’m about to share with you comes from a yogic text called the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. And in this writing it states,
“In order to preserve an elevated state of mind, be happy for those who are happy, cultivate compassion for those who are sad, feel joy for those deemed to be lucky, and experience equanimity toward those perceived to be wicked.”
And another way of saying wicked is those are really the haters, right? The people they just want to attack and tear us down.
So in order to sustain your happiness, in order to keep you in an elevated state of mind, you need four keys.
The Four keys.
Key number one is friendliness;
key number two, compassion;
key number three, joy; and
key number four, equanimity.
Friendliness, compassion, joy, and equanimity.
There are only four locks in the world. Just four. And by having these four keys, you’ll always be empowered to open any lock that you encounter.
Now let’s take a closer look at these four keys.
First key; number one says, “when you encounter a happy person, use the friendliness key.”
Friendliness in yoga is called Maitri, and this is the easiest of the keys to use.
I think about this parking garage in Santa Monica, California that I used to go in and out of all the time. I would go in and out of this parking garage, and the lady that worked in the booth was always so happy. And she was singing. You would go in and she would give you this big happy greeting and then you would leave an hour or two later and she would engage with you. She would sing to you. She would tell you to have a beautiful blessed rest of your day. And I always labeled her in my mind as the parking garage saint. There wasn’t a time out of hundreds and hundreds of encounters with her where she wasn’t happy.
This is that elevated state of mind that we’re talking about. And the cool thing is is that happiness is contagious. You know when you’re around somebody who is super negative and toxic and it just has an effect; those bad vibes can have an effect on you. Well, the reverse is true. Somebody is in a good mood and they’re happy, it can also elevate us so that we feel happy as well.
So you’re going to notice when someone in your life is happy– and you might even notice that sometimes it might bring up the opposite reaction within you. You might be down that day, and you see somebody being happy and you just go into a negative reaction or you have a judgment or whatever it is, and the important thing is that whatever that negative response is to somebody else being happy, that you are aware this comes from what’s called your pain body or the ego or what we sometimes call the small self. The self that just thinks about us. So if we’re not feeling good and somebody else is, then we’re jealous.
Have a sense of humor with your pain body. You want to develop this relationship with it where you see it, you recognize it, and then it will have less and less of a grip on you.
Key number two; when you encounter someone sad or unhappy, use the compassion key.
Compassion in yoga is called Karuna.
“The problem with the world is that we draw the circle of our family too small.”
We all belong to each other. And there’s no shortage of suffering on this planet.
Being compassionate, requires an open and courageous heart.
And it takes courage, takes a tremendous amount of courage to be attuned to the great sufferings of the world. We see racism, we see innocent refugees that that are displaced because of war and environmental destruction. And when one group suffers, we all suffer. And we all belong to each other.
The telomeres, these are these little caps at the end of our DNA strands. And they’ve done research that when you do yoga, when you meditate, that those strands, they get longer. And the longer the strands, the longer our lifespan becomes.
They’ve also gone into certain communities where there’s a big disparity between the wealthy and the impoverished. And what they found is that the impoverished have these shorter telomeres due to the stress of just not having a good home, good access to food, healthcare, you name it. This also has a big negative effect on the people that are wealthy. So on a deep level, we’re all connected.
I know for myself going into these environments such as prison and teaching yoga and meditation to the prisoners; you know, there’s a lot of suffering there. And I tell some of those students in there, I say, “You know what? You guys that have tremendous amounts of suffering, you also have the best opportunity for awakening.” But to be able to walk into these environments and just bring compassion where they’re suffering. And the beautiful thing is is that research shows that when we give, when we’re generous, whether that’s with our presence, our attention, our knowledge, money, that we also equally receive.
The third key; when you encounter someone successful or lucky, you’re going to use the joy key.
And Joy in yoga is called Mudita.
Look, if we’re honest, we can really fall short on this third key, quite often; myself included. And we’ve probably been both the perpetrator and the victim. I’ve seen this happen when a friend gets into a great relationship or maybe they move, a co-worker might get a good promotion, or student surpasses their teacher’s knowledge or level of notoriety, or somebody else gets more followers on social media, as silly as that is. And what do we do? They’re successful. We see them as lucky. And that can stir up a really strong reaction within us.
So very often in those situations we become jealous. And jealous arises because of insecurity. And then we feel inferior to somebody else.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
And there’s a lot of wisdom in that.
When we compare ourselves to others, whether we feel inferior or superior, we create tremendous suffering.
This is the opposite of sustaining that elevated mood, that elevated mind of just being happy. And we feel that because we feel disconnected.
We’re disconnected from what we call abundance consciousness. So we only get jealous because we think that there’s not enough, that that person gets that other thing and then they’re taking something from us. And that’s the opposite of abundance.
Where the mind goes is where the energy flows.
So when you focus on lack, that grows. When you focus on jealousy, insecurity, that gets reinforced. And this becomes a pattern that gets wired into your personality. And then this personality that you’ve created creates the suffering.
Now we can also flip that.
We can choose another way of moving through life. What if we focus on abundance?
Then the abundance grows and that grows the gratitude, the joy. Those benevolent qualities get reinforced. This becomes the pattern. We wire this into a personality, which creates happiness or an elevated mind.
So you’ve got to watch yourself like a hawk on this one. And it can be very difficult at first, can be very difficult.
You see somebody else getting successful, getting lucky, and not only do you want to be okay with that, but what I’m proposing is that you’re actually happy for them, that you feel ecstatic, that you feel joy for them being successful, even if it’s somebody you don’t like.
But as you start to do that, you’re going start to feed your abundance consciousness and you’re going to feel so much better. Doesn’t feel good to feel jealous or insecure or lacking. So you’re going to be happy. And then you’re going to become this magnetic personality of happiness and abundance, and then you’re just going to attract more and more of that to you and your life.
The last key, number four. This might be the most difficult of them all. This says when you encounter a wicked person/hater, use the equanimity key.
Equanimity in yoga is called Upekkha. And this is just another way of describing steadiness or poise or evenness. Even in the mind. Equal in the mind. Equanimity.
Again, this is a difficult key. But just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s not doable.
Now there are wicked, mean, nasty, hateful people in life. They exist.
There’s also lots of great people; luckily, there’s much more of them. But the reality is these people exist. And the Yogis knew this. And Patanjali, the yoga sage who created Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, they had to deal with people 2,000 years ago, just like you do right now, that aren’t always nice.
Now if we can we should really do our best to avoid these energy vampires. You know these people that want to suck onto us and just leech our good energy.
Usually the bigger your pain body is, the more unresolved trauma that you carry with you, the more likely that you are to encounter these difficult types of people.
A big ego equals big problems, and no ego equals no problems.
So the bigger one’s ego is, the bigger their pain body is, then they’re gonna see that playing itself out in this world of form through experiences, people, and therefore our relationships.
But the more pure your energy is, usually the less conflicts and issues that you have. This is why practice is so important. Our practice of of resolving our traumas and our old stories, and moving through those demons, and liberating those.
Now the good thing to know is in the same way that you encounter difficult people, the Buddha and Jesus Christ also did as well. So you could take solace in just knowing that look, look at what they were teaching; they were teaching love and forgiveness and awakening. They had haters too.
So some people are going to hate and they’re going to spew their venom.
I remember one time as a yoga instructor earlier on in my career, that I was dealing with a difficult student, and this particular student said a lot of really, really mean things to me and about me. So I went to go see my mentor at the time, and after 10 minutes of just word vomiting all over him about what this person was saying, he just looked at me and he said, “Is it true?” And I said, “No.” And then he said, “Well, let it go. If it’s not true, let it go. And if it is true, then that’s something to work on.”
So you can ask yourself that question next time somebody says something mean to you; is it true? And if it’s not, just let it go. And of course, no happy person, no healthy, stable person, is going around the world and trying to hurt other people.
Only hurt people try and hurt other people.
So have that wisdom and that clear understanding; it’s not about you. It’s about them.
Now there’s a story about the Buddha. And the Buddha was revolutionary in his time because he was teaching a practice that basically empowered people so that they didn’t have to go to the temples and to the Brahmin priest. Before the Buddha was around, if you wanted access to God, then you had to go to the local priest, you had to make a donation, you had to jump through all these hoops, so to speak, and then you got access to the divine. And the Buddha said, “None of that’s necessary. You just sit down, close the eyes, start meditating on the breath, and you can access the divine that way.” So a lot of these Brahmin priests were very threatened by the Buddha, especially as his following began to really, really grow and expand.
So one afternoon, the Buddha was walking down one of the streets, and this priest came up to him and just started hurling insults at the Buddha right in the middle of the street. People are all around and this priest is spewing his venom over the Buddha. And the Buddha looked at the priest and he said, “Do you ever have guests come over to your house?”
And the Brahmin priest said, “Yes, all the time.”
And the Buddha said, “Do you feed them?”
And the Brahmin said, “Yes, of course, I feed them.”
And the Buddha said, “Well, who does the food belong to?”
And the priest said, “Why, me, of course.”
And then the Buddha asked, “Well, what if they don’t eat the food, who does the food belong to?”
And the Brahmin said, “Well, in that case, it still belongs to me.”
And then the Buddha replied, “I see. Well, you offer me your hatred and insults, but I don’t accept. Therefore, your insults still belong to you.”
And the Buddha peacefully walked off as the Brahmin priest’s jaw dropped to the ground. It was the classic mic drop.
So in this same way, if we don’t accept it, then it’s not ours to take.
So next time someone tries to tear you down, don’t give them your power. Only you can give up your power.
It’s okay to receive fair criticism. We should take that in when it comes from a good place, from a place of love. But when it comes from hate, toxicity, negativity, then it’s not ours to take. That belongs to them. Let them keep it. And therefore, you will maintain a calm, happy, elevated state of mind.
So now that you know these four keys, you’ve got to put them into action. You’ve git to put them into practice.
So bring the friendliness to when you see happy people. See somebody happy, whoever it is, feel happiness for them.
When you see somebody suffering, they’re unhappy, feel compassion for them.
If somebody’s very successful, even if it’s somebody that gets something that you want, feel joy for them. Be in that abundance consciousness.
And then lastly, you encounter somebody wicked, mean, nasty; keep your mind steady, keep your mind equanimous. And as soon as you can, get away from that person and remember that whatever they say, whatever they do, it’s not about you.
And when you use these four keys with those four locks, you will maintain that elevated state of mind.
So let’s finish now with the ultimate prayer.
“May we bring strength where there is weakness.
May we bring courage where there is fear.
May we bring compassion when there is suffering.
And may we bring light where there is darkness.
May we be ultimate!”