We've all heard the expression, "You make your own luck." It's based on the idea that you have to go out there and create opportunities for yourself. You have to put yourself in positions for luck to appear. Those who sit idly by will have very few lucky events that just fall upon them. That leads me into karma. I've been thinking about karma a lot lately and wondering, "Can you make your own karma?"
People often tell me that I have good karma. It's very flattering, but what does that really mean? On the flip side, I also hear people talk about karma being a bitch, when someone's actions are mean spirited or backhanded. I've been trying to understand where it comes from, how to get more, and how to help spread it; the good kind of karma of course!
So I've been studying my own habits and actions of others to figure it out. After a lot of soul searching and introspection, it became quite obvious that the key to good karma is quite simple. You have to give in order to receive. And when I say give, I mean selflessly giving without any expectation of return. That’s what makes karma so special. When we think about what we can get from a situation, from individuals, or from a group, it becomes a selfish endeavor. There's nothing wrong with that in the right situation. When you pay for a service, you expect something in return. But when you simply act in a kind way towards others, without any expectation of return, magical things can happen. And that becomes karma. When given sincerely, it becomes infectious and spreads.
It can start by simply trying to put a smile on the face of someone who is appearing to have a bad day. I was at a drug store the other day and when I got to the counter the cashier had a scowl on her face and barely made eye contact with me. Halfway through ringing up my purchase I said to her, "Wow, you have the most beautiful eyebrows!" She really did, I wasn't just saying it. A huge smile immediately shot across her face and we started a short chat. When I finished checking out, she was smiling ear to ear and I noticed as the next person behind me came to the counter, the cashier was still smiling and greeted the next customer warmly. Who knows how long the brief exchange stayed with her, but I know that it stayed with me for a long time and I was smiling as I left the store. It just felt good!
Now I'm not saying that I walked away and immediately bought the winning lottery ticket. That's not what karma is. It's more of a feeling and a mindset that puts you in the right space mentally to make good things happen all around you. And when enough good things are happening around you, some of them become great! It creates a cascading butterfly effect with those around you. So if you want some good karma, you have to earn it.
Now what about karma being a bitch? I met her and she seemed pretty damn nice to me. If I got nothing else in return but a smile on my face, that's not so bad.