“The only way to be comfortable with death is to understand and see yourself as something bigger than yourself; to choose values that stretch beyond serving yourself, that are simple and immediate and controllable and tolerant of the chaotic world around you. This is the basic root of all happiness. Whether you’re listening to Aristotle or the psychologists at Harvard or Jesus Christ or the goddamn Beatles, they all say that happiness comes from the same thing: caring about something greater than yourself, believing that you are a contributing component in some much larger entity, that your life is but a mere side process of some great unintelligible production.” ~ Mark Mason, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
“If the only reason you help is so that you can tell people that you help, I don’t need your help.” ~ Iain Thomas, I Wrote This For You
“We have to continue to practice mindfulness and reconciliation until we can see a child’s body of skin and bones in Uganda or Ethiopia as our own, until the hunger and pain in the bodies of all species are our own. Then we will have realized nondiscrimination, real love. Then we can look at all beings with the eyes of compassion, and we can do the real work to help alleviate suffering.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step
“The source of love is deep in us, and we can help others realize a lot of happiness. One word, one action, or one thought can reduce another person’s suffering and bring him joy. One word can give comfort and confidence, destroy doubt, help someone avoid a mistake, reconcile a conflict, or open the door to liberation. One action can save a person’s life or help him take advantage of a rare opportunity. One thought can do the same, because thoughts always lead to words and actions. If love is in our heart, every thought, word, and deed can bring about a miracle.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step
“We often ask, ‘What’s wrong?’ Doing so, we invite painful seeds of sorrow to come up and manifest. We feel suffering, anger, and depression, and produce more such seeds. We would be much happier if we tried to stay in touch with the healthy, joyful seeds inside of us and around us. We should learn to ask, ‘What’s not wrong?’ and be in touch with that. There are so many elements in the world and within our bodies, feelings, perceptions, and consciousness that are wholesome, refreshing, and healing. If we block ourselves, if we stay in the prison of our sorrow, we will not be in touch with these healing elements.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step
If you had to boil down your life’s guiding principles to two sentences… What would they be?
…Only two sentences? …To guide you through life?
…Tough. I know.
Well, during a conversation with one of my students, Aaron, I discovered two sentences that were intricately tied to how he lived his life which impacted me deeply and compelled me to investigate further.
These two sentences came from one of Aaron’s mentors, Melvin Scott—a man he crossed paths with at a gym when he was a young teenager.
The influence Melvin had on Aaron and the impact those two sentences have had on his life ever since is unquestionable and speaks to the power of two key principles: Continue reading
“Motivation is so important. In fact all human action can be seen in terms of movement, and the mover behind all actions is one’s motivation. If you develop a pure and sincere motivation, if you are motivated by a wish to help on the basis of kindness, compassion, and respect, then you can carry on any kind of work, in any field, and function more effectively with less fear or worry, not being afraid of what others think or whether you ultimately will be successful in reaching your goal. Even if you fail to achieve your goal, you can feel good about having made the effort. But with a bad motivation, people can praise you or you can achieve goals, but you still will not be happy.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness
“If one comes across a person who has been shot by an arrow, one does not spend time wondering about where the arrow came from, or the caste of the individual who shot it, or analyzing what type of wood the shaft is made of, or the manner in which the arrowhead was fashioned. Rather, one should focus on immediately pulling out the arrow.” ~ Shakyamuni, the Buddha, via The Art of Happiness
“There is no guarantee that tomorrow at this time we will be here. But still 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.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness
“There is an inextricable link between one’s personal happiness and kindness, compassion, and caring for others. And this is a two-way-street: increased happiness leads to greater compassion, and increased compassion leads to greater happiness. In other words, studies have found not only that happier people tend to be more caring and more willing to reach out and help others, but that by deliberately cultivating greater kindness and compassion, a person will experience increased happiness.” ~ Howard Cutler, The Art of Happiness