Reprinted with permission from "The Diamond Cutter," by Geshe Michael Roach, Random House, Inc.

Maintaining happiness on a constant daily basis while you go about the business of becoming successful begins with learning how to "set the day."

The Tibetan wise men call this process penpa tang: The expression means to set the tone for an entire day by spending a few quiet moments in the morning, and the phrase is close to another that means "shooting an arrow." This daily morning quiet time, sitting silently by yourself to prepare your thoughts for the day, is absolutely essential for you to pull off the task of creating complete personal and business success for yourself in the years to come.

The roots of this practice are found in ancient teachings of the Buddha such as the "Book of the Golden Light," which was spoken over two thousand years ago; some details of the world may have changed since then, but not the basic principles of how to set the day, which have been passed on from master to disciple as a deep, personal, and lifetime practice in an unbroken tradition over all these centuries. Here's how you can do it too, every morning.

A very profound version of this practice states that you should actually begin the night before. After you have gotten in bed, first review the day just past. Check for the best three things you did or said or thought, and then the worst three.

Concentrate especially on the good things, and as you go to sleep--as you enter the world of dreams, which the great Tibetan masters say is close in many ways to the twilight world between your death in this life and your awakening in the next--think ahead to the moment your alarm clock will go off the next morning. Think ahead to your first waking thoughts, to the first moments as you stretch and yawn and open your eyes. As you may have noticed in your life already, these few minutes--and in fact the following hour or so--are critical for getting the day off to a positive start. And the best way to get a good start is to set the day with a period of personal silence and reflection.

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