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The 26 Steps of Wisdom: Gratitude = Great + Attitude

Compiled by Rampreet Kaur, KRI Creative Director

“To be great is to be great and full.”
—Yogi Bhajan, Step 25 of “The 26 Steps of Wisdom”
© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan, September 2, 1996

This blog focuses on the art of being great and of being full with the help of The 26 Steps of Wisdom as taught by Yogi Bhajan on September 2, 1996 (featured in Success and the Spirit, 2011, p. 89).

While many may spend the holidays filling their bellies a little fuller than usual, fill your heart and mind a little fuller with greatness by reflecting on The 26 Steps of Wisdom.

During the month of December, try dedicating one day to each of the 26 Steps of Wisdom; repeat that step over and over like a mantra until it is seared in your mind and resounding in your heart. Maybe that will happen for you in 3 minutes or 11 minutes. Honor your own process. Be great, and be full, and may being grateful fill your life with greatness!

The 26 Steps of Wisdom

  1. Those who do not move, move the Universe. Those who move, don’t move anything.
  2. Feelings and emotions are like waves on oceans—no depth. Without depth there are no oceans and no waves. Then you are living notions.
  3. Those who have to lead must be like a star with an altitude and attitude of perfection.
  4. God is single but all prevailing.
  5. Work speaks for itself.
  6. Wisdom, character and consciousness conquer everything.
  7. Count your blessings and save yourself from the tyranny of time and space.
  8. Be kind, conscious and compassionate. The whole world will be your friend.
  9. There is nothing naked in the nature. Even trees have bark.
  10. Going without knowing is a social suicide.
  11. Don’t forget God because God doesn’t forget anything.
  12. All those men who create their own castles, God creates for them equal hassles.
  13. I, I, I. You will never open your Third Eye.
  14. Ego is a bubble that creates nothing but trouble.
  15. Face and grace can win every race.
  16. There is no match to character. All characteristics of the Universe will fit in.
  17. The best desire is to be desireless.
  18. The best anger is to be angry at your faults.
  19. The best attachment is to be gracefully excellent and gratefully compassionate.
  20. The best attachment is to be attached to your character and consciousness—and prove it through your intelligence.
  21. The best love is to serve all equally.
  22. The best pride is to pray for everyone.
  23. The best greed is to agree to be the forklift of every existence.
  24. The best lust is to lure yourself to be graceful.
  25. To be great is to be great and full.
  26. Tomorrow always becomes today and yesterday is always gone. Therefore, life is a gift. Don’t drift or create a rift. Be happy so long as the breath is on.

The head is dead without the spine, and the twenty-six vertebrae are the twenty-six steps of wisdom. There are twenty-six parts in the skull—if they are not adjusted with a turban you are dull. There are twenty-six bones in your foot that have to be adjusted right—without that adjustment you can never be bright.

© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan, September 2, 1996

An Attitude of Gratitude Brings Latitude

By Rampreet Kaur

The words dropped into my head suddenly, while I was sandwiched between passengers on the Parisian Métro in December of 2009. Of course, brilliant words always do tend to come when I have to unwedge my purse from between myself and a woman deep in the throngs of a cheap paperback romance, “Excusez-moi. . . pardon. . . Merci.” I scrounge in my purse for a scrap of paper and a working pen. My favorite pen exploded in the plane on the flight over, so I’m hoping and praying I had the now-forgotten foresight to nab one from the jar of pens on the counter in the house where I’m staying. I feel a receipt from the librairie between my fingers… and, yes, is that a pen? No, it’s just a plastic drinking straw I thought I’d recycle instead of throwing away after the waitress needlessly added it to my water glass at the café last week—No pen!

“An attitude of gratitude brings latitude. An attitude of gratitude brings latitude.”

I repeat this to myself over and over as I plot my escape from the train, which will relinquish me to the freedom of a flowing working ballpoint. The words repeat in my mind like a mantra. Ah ha! This is why I wasn’t meant to find a pen: so that the words would imprint deeply in my mind, over and over.

I can only be grateful.