What Is Karma?

Karma is the consequence of an action. It is neither good nor bad. However, since you have very little impact on what the consequences are you are best to try and limit the amount of karma that you create or allow to be created because there is always the potential that the outcome will be negative.

The concept of karma is misunderstood because people want to believe that the world is a fair and just place so that those who create suffering in others will get what’s coming to them – you get what you give. It’s an understandable desire because we do seem to be exposed to extreme cruelty and uncaring, but the world doesn’t work like that.

If you act according to your nature, you will create the least amount of karma. If your nature is positive, as most people’s true nature is, you and others will enjoy the consequence to your actions. If you act in a way that is different from your true nature, for example looking at the world with yourself as the center of everything, others may suffer as a result of your actions. Also, in the long run, any enjoyments you experience may dissipate and fade away completely. Very often these actions will create a feeling of cognitive dissonance within you that will be immediately experienced as a negative feeling such as anxiety, tension or sadness. If your nature is not positive, all of your actions will come from a place were you are the center of them and others will not enjoy the consequences of these actions.

Karma is minimized when someone is fulfilling their life purpose because they will be taking fewer actions that deviated from their natural tendencies; you will create only intended consequences.

One goal should be to create as little karma as possible through living the life that reflects your nature. This is why it is important to figure out what your nature and your life purpose are. Steve Pavlina outlines how to uncover your life purpose with his simple and effect method – it worked very well for me and I found the experience to be very powerful.

An example here may be useful. My life purpose has something to do with trying to empower people to achieve their goals and potential. While this has always been my purpose, I haven’t always known it and in fact it only became evident to me after a training seminar early in February of 2007. Before it was uncovered, when I would try to fill this guide role for others I would either feel shame for trying to change them, incomplete because I felt I needed others to change in order for me to be useful or just completely creepy for talking to people about what I saw in their essence. Try and tell a complete stranger at the gym that you see that they could be an excellent personal trainer because of the way they engage the front desk staff or that the person who pumped my gas should be a motivational speaker because of the clarity of their observations about whatever. People aren’t used to this kind of honesty or insight and they tend to be very suspicious of anyone who brings it to them. So before it was clear to me why I do what I do, I would suffer from the dissonant feeling that I was acting weirdly. Worse was the often-hurt feeling I would get when people would respond poorly through lashing out or just ignore what I had said. I have alienated a number of people through voicing my observations in a genuine attempt to help them.

To draw this back to karma, I was actualizing my life purpose through these interactions. The consequences to these actions were, for the most part, non-existent because very few people are receptive to what I said such that my talking to them created very little karma – any karma that results from their continuing down the same path is their creation. However, in the odd case where someone buys into what I tell them, they take some strength from it and begin to move towards their potential, a lot of karma is eliminated – their path through life has been changed or reset to a path that more closely represents their true nature. My actions were the result of my nature and they serve only to decrease the amount of karma that is created. In fact, if I had kept my mouth shut and said nothing I am, in essence, knowingly creating karma through willfully allowing others to continue down the wrong path.

The moment of enlightenment when I uncovered my purpose was very liberating because it allowed me for the first time to see my actions as appropriate and independent of the outcome. I am following my nature by TRYING to help others find empowerment to grow and not by GETTING them to find the empowerment to grow. The result is not as important as the effort. The result is only important for me. I MUST become empowered and TRY to help others but others actions are not even a consideration in the karmic equations that defines me. When it comes right down to it, I create more karma when I do not take an action that I feel I should. If my pure actions are inhibited it is because I am putting myself as the center of everything because I want to avoid shame. This is the recipe for Karma so I work to avoid it.

I’m recommending that people take the time to figure out who they are and what they need to do on the planet to have a meaningful life. Then go out and do it. Stop living a life that doesn’t complete you because you are creating a lot of needless Karma.

25 Years, 25 Mistakes

25 Years, 25 Mistakes by Mike Boyle from T-nation

Most of the mistakes deal with weight lifting and physical training, but there are a few very good general life lessons in the list:

Mistake #14: Confusing disagree with dislike
I think it’s great to disagree. The field would be boring if we all agreed. What I realize now is that I’ve met very few people in this field I don’t like and many I disagree with. I probably enjoy life more now that I don’t feel compelled to ignore those who don’t agree with me.

Mistake #15: Confusing reading with believing
This concept came to me by way of strength coach Martin Rooney. It’s great to read. We just need to remember that in spite of the best efforts of editors, what we read may not always be true.

If the book is more than two years old, there’s a good chance even the author no longer agrees with all the information in it. Read often, but read analytically.

Mistake #16: Listening to paid experts
Early on, many of us were duped by the people from companies like Cybex or Nautilus. Their experts proclaimed their systems to be the future, but now the cam and isokinetics are the past. Just as in any other field, people will say things for money.

You don’t think his post applies to you? Read mistake 25.