© By: Ernesto Ortiz

We benefit immensely when we see elders, role models and spiritual guides (gurus) as guides that can teach thoughtfully with specific goals in mind.

In fact the first example that we have of these, our first gurus, are our father and mother. No matter if we like it or not, that was the first influence we had, our first role models. Most parents want the best for their child and they teach by example, explanation and giving advice and direction.

They can only teach as far as they have been able to learn and experience themselves, and many of us as we grow up look outside of the values we were given by these first gurus for something bigger, higher, something we know we can use to uplift our lives to the next level of our own personal potential.

When we think of gurus, we automatically think of teaching. When we look at ourselves as gurus, we realize the importance of our role as teachers with our children (if we have them), friends, co-workers, and the community at large.

Have you ever found yourself giving advice to someone? Where is that advice come from? It comes from your personal experience and in doing that you are acting like a guru.

What that means if we are becoming conscious is that we must be personally responsible for the advice that we give to others and how we take and give to life itself.

Here are ten key qualities we want to possess in order to be happy, spiritual and successful, to live our lives to the fullness of our personal potential. Live them and teach them to your children, and share them with others.

  1. Positive Self-Concept: The confidence that one is a radiant, magnificent, immortal soul worthy of a wonderful life. Giving constructive encouragement and refraining from denigrating remarks or actions, even when correcting misbehavior, creating habits in our lives that nurture this image, learning how to control our previous programming and change our relationship with life. Feeling the radiant Self worth that is within us all.
  2. Perceptive Self-Correction: The ability to quickly draw the lesson from each experience and resolve how not to repeat one’s mistakes. Teaching that mistakes are not bad develops this quality; they are opportunities to learn and refine our behavior.
    Mistakes are the stepping-stones of learning experiences they build character and wisdom.
  3. Powerful Self-Control: The restraint of destructive emotions, such as anger, jealousy, greed, altered ego, when tempted to express them. This is cultivated by example and by referring often to the ten restrains taught in Hinduism known as the Yamas, finding illustrations of them in daily life.
    1. Ahimsa: Non-violence. Abstinence from injury, harmlessness, the not causing of pain to any living creature in thought, word, or deed at any time. This is the “main” Yama. The other nine are there in support of its accomplishment.
    2. Satya: truthfulness, word and thought in conformity with the facts.
    3. Achaurya: non-stealing, non-coveting, non-entering into debt.
    4. Brahmaacharya: Divine conduct, restrain, faithful in relationship.
    5. Kshama: patience, releasing time, functioning in the now, ability to be present.
    6. Dhriti: steadfastness, overcoming non-perseverance, fear, and indecision; seeing each task through to completion.
    7. Daya: compassion; conquering the hardening of the self, cruel and insensitive feelings toward all beings.
    8. Arjava: honesty, straightforwardness, renouncing deception and wrongdoing.
    9. Mitahara: moderate appetite, neither eating too much nor too little; mantaining a healthy diet. Avoid the consumtion of heavy meats.
    10. Shaucha: purity, avoidance of impurity in body, mind and speech.
  4. Profound Self-Confidence: The dignity that endows an individual confronted with a difficult task the certainty that he or she can accomplish it. This is cultivated by helping a child from the early stages of life to gradually accomplish more and more difficult tasks.
  5. Playful Self-Contentment: A disposition that is fun loving, happy, satisfied. This is developed by living and verbalizing the adventure that life is meant to be. To learn to live life joyously, spending fun time together, satisfied with what we have, not dissatisfied over what we lack.
  6. Sacred or Devotional Character: Abidance in the higher nature, treating others with kindness and appreciation, and seeking the blessings of God, Gods and guru. It is cultivated by worship regularly, meditating and prayer.
  7. Proficiency in Conflict Resolution: The knack of resolving disagreements using intelligence and seeking a win-win situation. It is cultivated by example and situation teaching demonstrating how intelligence is superior to violence in dealing with conflict.
  8. Parental and Love Relationship Closeness: An eagerness to spend time with loved ones because of an enduring bond of love and understanding. This propensity is developed by sharing quality time together, expressing love—hugging and saying often the three magic words “I love you,” and by positive, methods of reinforcement.
  9. Prejudice-Free Consciousness: An open-mindedness that readily embraces differences in ethnic background and religion. It is cultivated by living and teaching that the whole world is our family and all beings are divine, by discussing prejudices, mixing with those of other backgrounds and eliminating bigoted remarks or ethnic generalizations.
  10. Gratitude: To be able to look at what life brings us as a wonderful way of learning, with that the opportunity to grow and be better to share with our loved ones and the world with appreciation. To demonstrate our gratitude to everyone for what we have and for what we don’t have. To be grateful for life itself.

I hope that these 10 qualities are reinforced in your life and that the New Year brings you love, happiness and you develop the Mind of Enlightenment.

Om Shanti