Today I want to draw from the teachings of the Buddha to help us focus on our goals, our life, and our journey. To that end, here are three main points I want to share:
Finish what you start, but you have to start to finish. I loved this. Start. It’s simple but not easy.
Practice self-love. Be the author of the stories you tell yourself And for God’s sake make them positive.
Carve your own path. The road to your Fantastic Life is your road. Be sure you are on it.
I have learned that the journey is all that it is supposed to be. How we achieve our goals is as important as the goal.
The Fantastic Life Rule #1:
Know Your Stories
We are all writing our life stories right now. Right this very minute. At the end of your life, what stories will you have to tell?
3 Buddha Principles That Can Change How You Work Towards Your Goals
If applied, they can change your perception of yourself and the world forever.
By: Hemanth | Published on November 25, 2021
Image by Marjon Besteman from Pixabay
I love reading quotes, especially the ones from ancient philosophers. They’re mystical and cryptic. Quotes from people who lived hundreds or thousands of years ago have a thought-provoking sense to them.
Most ancient quotes might look bland and simple at first sight, but once you start reflecting on them, you realize how profound and inspiring they are.
It intrigues me how the ancient philosophers were aware of the core principles of life and fulfillment. Yet, we often fail to understand them and apply them in our lives.
Gautam Buddha is probably one of the most influential figures of all time because of his ideologies. His practical philosophies on living a fulfilled life are not just limited to an ascetic life; they’re pragmatic and doable for everyone.
I have been following these Buddha principles that have helped me rediscover myself, enabling me to align my energies and goals. I am sure they’ll give a new perspective on how to function better working towards life’s goals.
1. Be Lionhearted
“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.” ~ Buddha
Life’s not simple. It’s not easy. The path is turbulent, making us lose track of our purpose and passion. One of the major reasons for getting distracted from our path is the wrong mindset.
What are others doing?
What will others think?
These two questions perplex human minds preventing them from doing what they should/want. But what’s the real cause of having these questions in the first place?
Forgetting who you are!
Taking too much advice and stuffing yourselves with the noise of criticism distances you from your true image. You slowly start perceiving yourself the way others see you. Closing your ears to “who you are and what you want” makes you anxious enough to freeze in self-doubt.
How to apply it:
Before seeking advice, ask yourself if you truly need it. Consider the pitfalls and anticipate the consequences of doing it wrong. For that, practice self-love. Don’t give up on yourself because the people around you stopped believing in you.
Self-love means allowing yourself to be who you are. Permitting yourself to run, fly, fall, and rise again. Allow yourself to fall flat on your face. The more you fail, the more resilient you become.
So, whenever you feel you’re doing something against your wish, just pause! Reflect on yourself, predict the consequences and then continue only if it feels convincing. Your life is yours. No one will fight your battles for you. So don’t make yourself dependent on other’s opinions and approvals.
2. Carve Your Own Path
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.
But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” ~ Buddha
We’re complex humans. We want everything fast and instantly. But, it’s not our fault. We’re the victims of instant gratification. Consequently, we focus only on the goals, not the process. We keep changing our processes. We adopt and practice what others are doing because they’re finding success with it.
For example, we want to be rich and live a luxurious life. Let’s be honest. There’re plenty of ways to achieve it. Work hard. Save pennies. Ten twenty years down the line, you’ll be richer than today. But we opt for only those ways that help us get results faster — even if it means using unfair tactics.
There’s a wise saying, “Shortcuts are probably the longest.” It might not be true for tangible goals as you might become a millionaire quicker adopting the wrong means. But it’s valid for intangible accomplishments like peace, happiness, mental ease, etc.
Following wrong paths or other’s paths may bring wealth but not stability and fulfillment. Also, adopting other’s ways of being successful makes us lose the connection with ourselves. As a result, despite having everything, we feel hollow inside.
How to apply it:
Always remember — what works for others might not work for you. Everyone is different. Needs, capabilities, mindset, wants, weaknesses — everything is different. It’s like everyone has a different question paper of life. Then how can there be one right answer!
So, don’t follow anyone’s path without reflecting on whether it suits your needs and mental ease.
3. Observe Your Mind
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” ~ Buddha
What is the source of thoughts that arise in our minds?
True! We think only about those things we have either seen, heard, or experienced. We never think about what happens to people living ten blocks away from us. Why?
Because we don’t have any raw information like name, age, behavior, etc., to process it in our minds, but we’ll surely think about the movies we watched, film stars, politicians, family, friends, etc.(because we have data about it).
Since the data input is directly proportional to thought processing, it would not be wrong to say that the quality of information decides the quality of our thoughts.
If we constantly feed our minds with (toxic) information like news, terrorism, crime, violence, insecurity, we’ll think about the same. As a result, we’ll start feeling likewise, becoming likewise.
If watching La La land can make you feel romantic and Avengers can pump up your adrenaline rush, violent movies can make you feel distressed. But sometimes, its effect may not be instant.
For example, we know we mustn’t worry about a loved one/failed relationship/job loss, but we can’t help overthinking it. The reason is simple — we have already made our mind so weak by feeding it with toxic information that positivity seems almost impossible.
How to apply it:
To change the quality of life, change the quality of your thoughts by feeding your mind daily with positive content. Read the right kind of books, and watch visual content that makes you feel happy and cheerful.
Besides, limit watching the news, crime videos, watching violent movies, playing aggressive video games, etc.
We think we’re watching/doing it for fun or just to stay aware of our surroundings, but we’re actually becoming like that.
After eating junk food, you can’t decide if it was healthy or not; it’s already a part of your system. You can’t do anything about it then. Likewise, you can’t decide whether the content is good/bad for you after consuming it; it’s already a part of your mind and will affect you sooner or later.
So, filter the information before consuming it.
Life is not about achieving goals; it’s how we achieve them.
There’s a lot to do in life in terms of accomplishing, but right now, the most important thing is to pause and ask yourselves these questions:
- What am I losing in life?
- Am I on the right path?
- Am I equipped for a better tomorrow?
The wisdom and principles of the ancient philosophers like Buddha mentioned above help us do the same to keep our energies aligned with the life we want to live.