Many of us had heard the classic phrase: "Treat others as you would like to be treated," and for most part we make an effort to practice such. We give our attention to others with the personality we would want to be presented to us. A smile for a smile, a compliment for a compliment.
This is only half the process of becoming one's true self, the other half of the golden rule I read for the first time at the end of chapter 14 of Wallace Wattles' The Science of Getting Rich: "What I want for myself, I want for everybody."
Now one may wonder, "Why would I want for others what I want for myself? Surely there are things I want that would not be wanted by other people, like if I want a pink sweater surely the old man on the street corner doesn't want a pink cardigan?" The truth is, this statement doesn't apply necessarily to specific things, but rather to the idea of "that which I desire" being more so a "to be" concept.
An example, "I want to be wealthy, living in a warm home, and able to afford any luxury I desire." Apply the golden rule to this. How does it feel to say "I want everyone to be wealthy, living in warm homes, and able to afford any luxury they desire?" It can't possibly feel anything but good. Imagine everyone in the world being of a wealth where they can live comfortably. Indeed, it would be the start of world peace if the competition to survive was wiped away.
It's similar to giving a friend a gift that you yourself wanted and seeing their face light up as they open the package. You feel like you have done some good giving someone you love something that you desired. Not allowed dolls of my own, I one time bought my sister a barbie outfit that I saw in the store that I wanted, and although there was a little jealousy in watching her receive it, the majority of my feeling was of happiness knowing she enjoyed getting it.
Sometimes the things we want feel so out of reach we take an iron grip on them and go crazy wishing and wanting for them, and feel devastated day after day in their absence. When this happens, practice the golden rule. Picture yourself receiving what you want. Then, picture someone you love receiving what you want. Then extend it, imagine everyone receiving what you want, even the ones you despise (everyone means everyone, do not judge anyone as less than worthy of receiving something you want, for we are all one and the same, and by denying them the riches you are saying you don't deserve it either). Practice this with everything, even the things you have that you hold dear. If you have a favorite outfit, imagine everyone getting the opportunity to wear their favorite outfit too. By doing this practice you develop a sense of compassion and generosity in you, and that sense will increase your own sense of generosity, and as we know, generous people receive that which they strive for.