Question: Our birthday is the happiest day of our life during the year. How can we make every other day until the next birthday just as happy?

Sri Chinmoy: True, your birthday is the happiest day. Other days also you can make the happiest day in your spiritual life by doing two things. In the morning, make a list of your desires. On the list if you have ten things, then try to see if you can take away one item. Out of ten, see if you can bring it to nine, then eight, then seven, six and eventually none. You do not have to write down one hundred desires. Just write down ten. Afterwards, when you see that it has come to only one and then they are all gone, you can make another list. You do not have to think of each desire itself, whether it has come or not. You will automatically get tremendous joy in not having that desire. So that is one way.

The other way to make yourself happy is to reduce your expectation. If you expect anything from others, you will only get frustration. Even if you expect something from yourself and you do not get it, you will become irritated and frustrated. You will be absolutely doomed to disappointment. When you do not get something from others, you get mad at them because they have not fulfilled your desire. When you do not get something from yourself, you feel that you are useless. Then you become depressed and angry. When this happens, just say to yourself, "This is not the right way. I will do the right thing. If I expect something from the world, I will become frustrated, because the world is like that. If I expect something from myself, I may also be unable to achieve it. What I need is patience."

If you want to develop patience, immediately think of a tree. This tree has not become a tree overnight. It began as a tiny seed. Then it took such a long time to germinate. It became a little sapling, and then it became a huge tree. Such a long time it took! Here also, God has sown inside you a seed of perfection. If you want to become absolutely perfect in just ten or twenty years, it is not possible.

Then comes eagerness. Your eagerness is absolutely necessary. On the one hand, you will not expect to accomplish everything overnight. On the other hand, you will be eager to do the right thing. Everybody knows what is right and what is wrong. Only if people want to fool themselves do they say they do not know what is right.

Then comes aspiration. Aspiration is like a muscle. Previously, you could not take exercise with five pounds. Now perhaps you are taking exercise with seventy pounds, eighty pounds. Like that, take aspiration as a muscle. How will you develop it? By practising regularly. Previously even for one minute you could not meditate. Now perhaps you are able to meditate for five minutes.

The key is thought-control. If a wrong thought comes and you can control it, then you are doing the right thing. If a good thought comes and you expand it, elaborate it, then you are doing the right thing. If they are positive thoughts, allow them to grow. If they are negative thoughts, destroy them. Always by thinking positively, you make the fastest progress. Each hour can be made happy by allowing good thoughts, positive thoughts, to enter into you, and again each hour can be ruined by allowing one negative thought to enter.