Because we do not exist in a vacuum, everything we do touches someone else (see tool 3.7). Therefore, while we work on learning to live happily in acceptance of our reality, we should do so with the knowledge that however we change will have ramifications on others. So it’s important that you find a set of principles that work for you, that make you happy now, makes your future self happy, which makes the friends and family around you happier, too. As you continue to improve on your reality and existence, then, their realities likewise will improve.

Finding those principles can be challenging, however most of us learned them when we were children: be kind, don’t steal, don’t intentionally hurt other people, etc.

But also, you need to choose your words and your methods wisely. Particularly your mantras because they form the basis of your methods. There are certain mantras that people use that keep them in a spiritual, or pseudo-spiritual world. These include:

While those mantras sound very positive, they are a bit misleading. If life is perfect, then what reason is there to do anything? Why have a job if everything is good? Why fix a leaking roof if there are no mistakes?

Those mantras suggest that life is static when it’s not, it’s perpetually expanding, and we are all in a perpetual state of improving. But since you are not just improving for yourself. We exist because of everything that came before us and so we have a duty to what will come after us.

Someone blowing up a school because of their religion is an extreme example of someone with a dangerous moral compass who subscribed to unhealthy tenets. Someone who feels comfortable being demeaning to the cashier in a market is a more minor example.