12 Life Lessons from the Dalai Lama
Source: The Enlightened Mind – Secret To Perfect Meditation
The Dalai Lama is certainly an intriguing figure. His ideas and overall philosophies on life have influenced the lives and actions of many. At his core, the Dalai Lama is a simple Buddhist monk, but he has become much more than that to many. His leadership of an unrecognized nation in Tibet, advocacy of nonviolence and overall diplomatic nature have made him a legend in the eyes of many.
Even with all of the accomplishments the Dalai Lama has under his belt, he still doesn't see himself as anything but a member of humanity in general. We would certainly hold that the Dalai Lama is a great example of humanity at its finest, and believe that his philosophies have much to teach on how to go about living one's life. In this article we will examine twelve of the best life lessons that we can take from the philosophies of the Dalai Lama. Looking at these aspects of life can help one to live life to the fullest and be happy.
1. Take care of the world around you.
"Be gentle with the earth." – Dalai Lama
The earth itself is our greatest blessing in life. It is a planet abundant in life and all of the resources we could ever need to live happily and healthily. Humanity's impact on the earth is something that can be felt today. Despite the industrialization of the world at large, people should still look out for Mother Nature. If we continue to treat our world poorly, then our children's children may not be able to experience the same beauty that we have been able to enjoy throughout our lives. Take care of the world around you and try to keep things as nice as possible. Don't litter, clean up local lakes and forests. Any of these things can help the world to be a better place.
2. Ensure your home is full of love.
"A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life." – Dalai Lama
One's home life is always an important factor of how happy one is going to be. When you promote loving relationships with your family and significant other, then you will feel truly comforted when you enter the door to your home every day. Your family are people you need to keep close to you. Show them how much you love them, and they will show you their love in kind.
3. Everything happens for a reason.
"Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck." – Dalai Lama
As much as everyone wants to get everything they desire out of life, sometimes things just don't work out how you wanted them to. In these cases you should understand that everything happens for a reason. Like the Dalai Lama said, not getting what you want can turn out to be a wonderful stroke of luck. Think about how heartbroken someone might have been when they broke up with their high school sweetheart. Even though their first love didn't end in marriage, they wound up meeting a wonderful person to settle down with. They had beautiful children and lived a wonderful life. It may not have been what the person initially wanted, but when one door closes, another will open.
4. Change is good, but your values need to remain.
"Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values." – Dalai Lama
Change is a constant thing in the universe. In our world much will change from the time a person is born to the day of their death. You need to be able to embrace change and evolve with the world around you. To do so makes you better equipped to stay relevant and live a good life. Even though you need to be able to change with the times, some things should remain the same. The core values that have helped define who you are can act as your anchor in life. Whether those values have a lot to do with religious teachings, or simply things that you hold high above all others, hang onto them and let them be your guide. Never let the world change your core of being a good human being.
(Related: Discover How Meditation Can Change Your Life For The Better)
5. Teach others that which you know.
"Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality."- Dalai Lama
When you teach others things that you have learned throughout your life, it is a way of passing a part of you on to a new generation. We are all going to shuffle off of this mortal coil one day, but our ideas and what we have learned though life experiences can live on when we pass that knowledge to others. This can be something as simple as teaching our sons and daughters the things we see as being important to pass on to them. Or you could choose to teach on a broader scale and find much enjoyment from doing so. Either way passing on your knowledge is a way to live on long after your physical body has turned to ash.
6. Choose your words carefully.
"Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer." – Dalai Lama
In life it is important to realize that words have power. When you speak things it will have an effect on those around you. If you are wise then you can understand that sometimes silence is the best answer. If you cannot think of something good to say, then being silent is better than making yourself sound the fool.
7. Alone time is important.
"Spend some time alone every day." – Dalai Lama
Although we are all often surrounded by people, and sometimes enjoy having so many people around us, taking time to be alone can be a great thing. When you are alone it is a good time to reflect inwards and put some deep thought into how your life is going. Alone time can also provide some serenity. When you lead a hectic everyday life, having that bit of relaxation while by yourself can recharge your batteries.
8. Own up to your mistakes.
"When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it." – Dalai Lama
We all make mistakes in life. A wise man understands that when he makes a mistake he must own up to it. Inevitably we all err from time to time. There are those who try to shift the blame, or don't want to admit to personal failures. It takes far more strength to acknowledge you have done something wrong and make up for it. Doing so will show great character and ultimately make you more respectable. Failing to do so will see your trustworthiness decline.
9. Learn from your failures.
"When you lose, don't lose the lesson." Dalai Lama
Learning from failures is an important aspect of becoming successful in life. If you can learn from the mistakes you have made, then you will be better equipped to succeed the next time. Often when people fail at something they feel a lot of self-pity. This is counter-productive and will cause you to be unable to learn the proper lesson about why it is you failed. Failures can teach someone far more things than successes can.
10. Understand that there is risk when looking to gain a big reward.
"Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risks." – Dalai Lama
When you are looking to achieve one of your great life goals, you need to understand that there is always a risk in putting yourself out there. The fear of failure should not keep you from attempting something, but it should guide your hand in working to meet your goals. There are risks in life when you are trying to achieve those things you want. Even when it comes to relationships, there is the risk of heartbreak from things not working out. Be vigilant and you can achieve these goals. But understand the risk involved.
11. Be able to forgive the transgressions of friends and family.
"Don't let a little dispute injure a great relationship." – Dalai Lama
In life we sometimes come into conflict with those who are closest to us. Even petty arguments have wound up completely disintegrating once great and flourishing relationships. You should not let something small like arguments rob you of what was a great relationship. Maintain a capacity for forgiveness, and try to come to an understanding with someone when you come into conflict. It isn't worth losing a friend over.
12. Live a life you can be proud of.
"Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time." – Dalai Lama
When you live your life in such a way that you can be proud, you will have little or no regrets. Make sure that live an honorable life by treating others with respect, and trying your best to achieve the goals you have set out for yourself. By doing so, you will have lived a life that you can be proud of. No one wants to have to look back at a life of shame and missed opportunities. Make sure your story is written how you want it to be.