When we’re given good advice and it moves us to take good actions—we’ll get good results. When we’re given bad advice, sometimes that will lead us to take bad actions (and get bad results that we can learn from), and sometimes it will stop us from moving at all.
When sorting through advice for the good vs. the bad, you should always remember that advice is only as good as the actions it inspires you to take. It’s better to have taken a bad action that you can learn from and keep moving forward with, than to not have taken any action at all. And at the other end, really great advice that you do nothing about is just as good as no advice at all—action is always the difference maker.
The Order of Interbeing, Tiep Hien in Vietnamese, is a community of monastics and lay people who have committed to living their lives in accord with the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings, a distillation of the Bodhisattva (Enlightened Being) teachings of Mahayana Buddhism. They were formed by Thich Nhat Hanh in the mid- 1960s, at a time when the Vietnam War was escalating and the teachings of the Buddha were desperately needed to combat the hatred, violence, and divisiveness enveloping his country. Today, there are more than four hundred members of the core community and many thousands of other worldwide who recite the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings regularly .
I share these with you today as I dedicate myself to become one of the many thousand who recite them regularly. In fact, when I first read the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings in Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh, the first thought that came to my mind was, “How might I put these onto a poster so that I may read them daily?!” And then it got me thinking even further about making them a part of my morning ritual. I figure the way you start your day will determine how the rest of the day will flow and reading these principles puts me into an incredibly clear and compassionate state of mind. My belief is that they will do the same for you.
The following is an excerpt from The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. It recounts the life and story of Buddha and how he went from being a young, spoiled child—who had essentially everything (and anything) he could have ever wished for—to the sage that we remember him as today who practiced severe asceticism before his enlightenment.
The suffering that the Buddha endured formulated the foundation for the teachings and philosophies on which Buddhism was later founded and the story of the Buddha shares a deep insight about how happiness is not the absence of suffering but rather a dance with suffering and non-ascetic, middle way living.
Below, you will find the story of Buddha as it was shared in The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. While you read, we strongly encourage you to reflect on your beliefs of suffering and happiness and challenge you to take notes (real or mental) on areas of your life that might need some attention or reevaluation.
Some questions to consider: Are you pursuing happiness or happy in your pursuits? Are you waiting for a criteria to be met before you feel that you can be happy? Is meeting that criteria really going to make you happy or will it just lead to more criteria? If you’re feeling moved, drop some of your thoughts in the comment section below! We hope this helps and we hope you find value in this story. Enjoy!