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Dalai Lama on the key to a meaningful and happy life

“How do I find real happiness, and keep it?”

This is a question we’ve all asked ourselves. Most of us believe it involves chasing feel good emotions, like excitement and lust.

This can cause us to desire things like material objects, drugs, and passionate romance.

The problem is that these types of happiness are fleeting.

It doesn’t last long, and then you’ll be lost in a never-ending cycle of desiring those feelings over and over again.

But according to The Dalai Lama in his book The Art of Happiness, there’s a better way to to create a happier and more peaceful life:

“Sometimes when I meet old friends, it reminds me how quickly time passes. And it makes me wonder if we’ve utilized our time properly or not. Proper utilization of time is so important. While we have this body, and especially this amazing human brain, I think every minute is something precious. Our day-to-day existence is very much alive with hope, although there is no guarantee of our future. There is no guarantee that tomorrow at this time we will be here. But we are working for that purely on the basis of hope. So, we need to make the best use of our time. I believe that the proper utilization of time is this: if you can, serve other people, other sentient beings. If not, at least refrain from harming them. I think that is the whole basis of my philosophy.

So, let us reflect what is truly of value in life, what gives meaning to our lives, and set our priorities on the basis of that. The purpose of our life needs to be positive. We weren’t born with the purpose of causing trouble, harming others. For our life to be of value, I think we must develop basic good human qualities—warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful—happier.”

In the same book, Dalai Lama says that approaching people with the thought compassion will reduce fear and help create a positive atmosphere:

“If you approach others with the thought of compassion, that will automatically reduce fear and allow an openness with other people. It creates a positive, friendly atmosphere. With that attitude, you can approach a relationship in which you, yourself, initially create the possibility of receiving affection or a positive response from the other person. And with that attitude, even if the other person is unfriendly or doesn’t respond to you in a positive way, then at least you’ve approached the person with a feeling of openness that gives you a certain flexibility and the freedom to change your approach as needed.”

If you’re struggling to cultivate compassion, Dalai Lama reminds us that we’re all in the same boat and that we all have a right to fulfill our aspirations of overcoming suffering and finding happiness:

“Rather, genuine compassion is based on the rationale that all human beings have an innate desire to be happy and overcome suffering, just like myself. And, just like myself, they have the natural right to fulfill this fundamental aspiration.”

 

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Lachlan Brown

Written by Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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