Getting Good Karma

The dictionary defines karma as the force generated by a person's actions that determine the nature of the person's next existence.

While this might sound like New Age mumbo-jumbo, many cultures have sworn by it for centuries, and it is a topic that's covered in the latest issue of Fitness magazine. Editor-in-chief Emily Listfield goes over the principles of karma on The Saturday Early Show this weekend.

Karma goes back centuries. It is a big part of Eastern religions, such as Buddhism and Hinduism. The concept is basically this: putting out positive thoughts and actions means positive things will happen to you in this life and your next life. If you put out negative thoughts or actions, then negative things will happen to you in this life and your next life.

Here are Fitness magazine's suggestions:

  • Donate anonymously. In many philosophies, the highest way to give is anonymously. You can do this many ways. Maybe clear out your closet and give your clothes to a charity that gives clothing to low-income people looking for a job. You could also give something to a friend without their ever knowing. Another good idea is to donate to a charity that is very close to you, perhaps breast cancer.
  • Temper the tantrums. Getting angry doesn't help anything. Not only does it upset the person you are dealing with in a given situation but it also upsets you. And the thing you want to remember is that if you throw a tantrum at someone, then that person is more likely to throw one at you in the future.
  • Make someone's day. We take so much for granted. We often forget to thank people for all the things they do for us. So something as simple as an email expressing your gratitude will really make a person's day and give them happiness as well. And remember: If you are putting out happiness, then you are going to get happiness in return.
  • Be honest with Uncle Sam. It's always important to take the moral highground. So when it comes time to pay taxes, be truthful. You'll be amazed at how much better it will make you feel. People who skim the government will feel guilty, and don't we all have enough guilt already?
  • Hold your tongue. Everything your mother ever told you is true: If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say it. In the end, saying something negative to someone only makes the person feel bad and, ultimately, you feel bad, too. So while it may be hard sometimes, keep negative thoughts to yourself.
  • Give a pint of blood. There is a reason that they say that giving blood is giving the gift of life. With each pint you donate, you have the potential to help three people. And you never know -- someday it may be you who needs the pint. So make sure to attend the next blood drive in your area.
  • Over-tip the waiter. We're not talking a lot of money here, so you don't have to be wealthy to do this. The next time you go out to eat and get good service, consider giving the waiter a 25 percent tip instead of a 15 percent tip. In the end, it's only a few dollars and it will really make your server's day and it may mean that you get better service the next time you go out, because you've put out positive energy into the universe.
  • Fuhgeddaboudit. Let go of the past. Holding on to a grudge does nothing for you and in the end will only bring you down. Learn how to forgive others. Some people find the best way to do this is writing about the negative experience in a journal so you "cleanse" yourself of the negative experience.
For more about Fitness magazine, go to