My "religion" is the best of the religions. I've read the New Testament, the Quran, the Dhammapada, listened to the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita (they're on my reading list, will get to them one day), and read/listened to a number of assorted spiritual teachers across the main religions.
The etymology of religion is something like one's own obligation or what one feels compelled to do. As stated above, I believe that we are all connected, and so my beneficence toward others can't help but me returned to me. Do I want the return? Yes! And I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I give to gain with one small caveat: I have surrendered the gain. If I get it or dont get it doesn't really matter to me. I have accepted death and the ending of life as I know it. One day, all that I "love" will be gone. I'm already dead, as the great warriors say.
Another "selfish" part of giving and beneficence is the recognition and the admiration gained from it. People really love a giver. And yet it benefits the recipient and it great role modeling behavior. People want to be like that if they're worth anything.
Some people really mess up a good thing like religion... "It's Jesus or hell!" "Sinner!" "No fun or pleasure on earth, you must wait for heaven!" ... And they dupe unsuspecting people who, to their detriment don't form their own opinion.
The New Testament says all the law and prophets hang on, "Love the Lord your God with everything you've got, and love your neighbor as yourself."
The Quran says, "those who believe and do good deeds will enter paradise and they will have nothing to fear and nothing to regret."
The Buddha has said, "the righteous are happy here and Hereafter." And "those who think good and pure thoughts will do good and pure things, and they will be happy, and their happiness will *never* leave them [here or Hereafter]."
The Bhagavad Gita says, "No one who does good deeds will ever come to a bad end, either here or in the world to come. When such people die, they go to other realms where the righteous live."
Yet, what is a good deed? It is interesting that it is left up to the interpreter, and many differ over what it is. I take that as an invitation to come to my own conclusions.
"Surrender [to God, Reality, Truth, whatever you want to call it]" is another key concept in the religions I've studied. Hinduism says that good deeds performed for the sake of gain are essentially negated.
So, I think it's simple:
1) surrender to God all of your desires (but still strive on toward what you want, just with detachment) & accept Reality as it is
2) do good deeds & be a benefit to people, to life
3) have faith in good things to come