10 Rules Of Life From Dalai Lama
Now and then, we all need a bit of sound life advice. Sometimes we seek advice from our parents, sometimes from our friends, and sometimes we even seek advice from online forums.
But isn’t it great to receive life advice from the Dalai Lama himself?
This is a man, after all, who responded to Oprah Winfrey when she asked him if he had ever had to forgive himself for anything by saying that, “My attitude towards mosquitoes is not very favourable, not very peaceful. Bed bugs also.”
It was an astonishing answer, and one that totally floored Oprah. The Dalai Lama, indeed, promotes forgiveness and compassion above all else.
But what other rules of life does he teach? Let’s take a look.
1. Be Kind And Always Help Others
The Dalai Lama says: “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”
Being kind to others is not exactly difficult; in fact, it’s pretty darn easy and costs us nothing. Yet the rewards we reap our substantial, as being kind to others makes us happier and more positive as people. Even better, it also helps to fill the lives of others with happiness too. Win-in.
2. Find Happiness Above All Else
The Dalai Lama points out that the grand purpose of our lives is to be happy. Unfortunately, this purpose is all too easily missed by folk in the 2015, as we work more and more hours. We live highly stressful, highly pressurised lives, and as such chasing happiness is not always at the forefront of our minds.
And when we do chase happiness, we channel our energies down the wrong pathways. Instead of being compassionate, kind and forgiving, we look for happiness via material possessions and “retail therapies.” The Dalai Lama says these are short-term fixes.
3. Be Open To Change, But Retain Your Values
The Dalai Lama insists that as human beings we must be open to change. We must embrace new ideas, passions, and diets.
At the same time, though, it’s important that we keep hold of our personal ethical system. Embracing new ideas is not the same as leaving behind our values, and this is an important point to make and reiterate.
4. Learn From Your Failures
Like successful entrepreneurs, His Holiness knows that failure is just something that happens to everyone. We will all fail at some point or another.
But rather than curl up into a ball, dwelling on these failures and calling ourselves a loser, we should learn from them. We should use them as an opportunity to grow and improve our lot. Failures are indeed there to show us what we did wrong the first time around; the key is to improve the second time.
5. Do Not Harm Other People
The Dalai Lama teaches that we should not harm others, neither our jealousy, bitterness nor anger. He says: “If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.”
And he’s right. Harming other people will only come back to haunt you, and it will bring with it a whole bundle of negativity. We’re not talking a couple of rumours spread around your back; we’re talking full-on negative Armageddon. Lying about others, gossiping, bullying and using them is not good for the karmic spirit.
6. Spend Some Time Alone
Lots of us say that we are social people who can’t bear solitude. We get bored, depressed and we just want to call up our friends.
But for the Dalai Lama and his followers, a bit of solitude each day is essential for the promotion of a healthy spirit. Spending time alone allows you to recharge your batteries, refresh your mind, and reflect on what has just passed and what has to come. We all need this “thinking time”, and without it life passes by in a mad rush.
7. Work At Your Friendships
In our hectic world, it can be easy to neglect friendships. Particularly if you have a wide circle of friends and a busy working life, finding some time to put aside for your pals can seem impossible.
But the Dalai Lama teaches that friendships should not be neglected or undervalued. Once we start neglecting our friendships, we’re on a path towards loneliness. And this can happen sooner than we think. Loneliness is not a nice place to be, so it’s important that you make the time to work at your friendships.
8. Negotiate, Do Not Argue
The Dalai Lama said: “Non-violence means dialogue, using our language, the human language. Dialogue means compromise; respecting each other’s rights; in the spirit of reconciliation there is a real solution to conflict and disagreement. There is no hundred percent winner, no hundred percent loser—not that way but half-and-half. That is the practical way, the only way.”
The key to a resolution, then, is not war or bitter, constant fighting, but communication. Dialogue. Talking things over. His Holiness has it that when talking things through we should be mindful to never dig up the past, but to remain focused on the present. Digging up the past just exacerbates a sense of bitterness and betrayal.
9. Follow The Three R’s
The three R’s are:
- Respect for self
- Respect for others
- Responsibility for your actions
Self-respect is the basis of a good life. If you don’t respect yourself, everything you do will be tainted. For example, if you run a business but have no self-respect, your business will operate by the same logic. It will be rundown, shoddy and ultimately unsuccessful.
10. Silence Is Your Friend
The sound of silence is music to the ears of His Holiness, and it should be music to your ears too. See, sometimes it’s best just to keep our mouths shut and say nothing further. Even if we really, REALLY want to tell someone what we actually think of them, it’s better to just stay quiet. Seal those lips!