How we react in any situation is determined by the three gunas -”sattva, rajas, and tamas”. We all have them with varying degree of intensity, and that’s why each of us acts differently.
Generally one of these Gunas is more prominent, and prominent one is decided by the Prarabdha that we are born with.
Sattva guna is characterized by happiness, knowledge, and light and makes us kind, considerate, and helpful to others; rajas is passion, attachment, and restlessness, which makes us egotistic, self-centred, and pleasure-seeking ; tamas is darkness, ignorance, and delusive, making us wicked, lazy, and confused. When rajas/tamas are predominate, we find it difficult to work on spiritual progress.
Most of the time we are so engrossed in our own lives that we do not even make an effort to understand how the gunas shape our personality; and unknowingly, we accept to live a puppet’s life in the hands of these gunas and die only to be born again to suffer the same situation.
If we want to come out of this hopeless situation of living as puppets, we need to understand these gunas and work towards cultivating sattva guna. One of the easiest way to cultivate sattva guna is doing good to others. Also, if one believes in God, one can also perform sincere spiritual practices like praying for others, and offering the fruits of all our work to God etc.
As Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita (9.22), once we show conviction, then he himself becomes the guide providing what we lack and preserving what we have. Then, with time, we will finds ourself surrounded by conditions that are conducive towards the development of sattva guna, and starts making progress.
BTW, final goal is to go beyond Sattva guna too, and become gunatita, I.e. one who has gone beyond the control of three gunas.
But, for now, lets show conviction for cultivating Sattva Guna so that Krishna himself will become our guide in this spiritual journey.