Last week I had the honour of hearing His Holiness the Dalai Lama speak live in London. I sat on the edge of my seat, alongside 2000 other souls, as he spoke softly about his life philosophies on love, kindness and happiness. For the amazing two hours that he was on stage, he spoke in great detail about how you learn to choose happiness in your life – and how that will help drive happiness on a global scale.
Before he even spoke I was moved to tears by his warm gesture, a hug, that he gave to someone at the event who spoke about their difficult journey to happiness. As he then continued on to share his thoughts on happiness, the beautiful inner peace that he carries within him simply radiated through him into the theatre and set an amazing energy in motion. He spoke slowly and surely, not in any rush to sell any idea to you but simply to share his thoughts.
These are the thoughts he shared which struck me the most. These are the ideas that enable you to choose happiness rather than chase it.
1. First love and respect yourself. Only then can you love and respect others.
This message of self-compassion keeps reappearing more and more. In today’s society where selfies are a trend and comparison is easier than ever through social media, you struggle to feel like you’re ever enough. Yet not giving the love and respect you deserve to yourself only holds you back from fully loving and respecting those around you. Learn to be smartly selfish by taking care of yourself and loving yourself the way you would want the most important people in your life to be loved.
2. In order to receive love, you need to accept it.
Believe in all the love, beauty and happiness that the world has to offer. Believe that you, and everyone in this world, is worthy of it. Only then do you fully open yourself up to receiving it. Accept the good that comes your way in any shape or form. Accept it, appreciate it and cherish it dearly.
3. An open compassionate mind will reduce anxiety and stress. More money won’t.
Sometimes you trick yourself into believing that having more money is a way of achieving inner peace. You’re not alone – even I can admit to doing it sometimes! On the contrary, money is something than can lead you to even more anxiety and stress – about keeping it, about spending it wisely and about making more of it. It’s time you put an end to this thought process.
It’s time you realised that anxiety and stress isn’t something that comes from outside you. It’s something you create within you. The more you do it, the more of a habit it becomes, and the more anxious you feel. The best way to combat this anxiety is with an open compassionate mind – and that starts with clearing your mind.
4. A clear mind leads to a quiet mind.
It’s no secret that practices like yoga, meditation and mindfulness have taken the world by storm over the last decade. This is a response to the noisy, chaotic yet wonderful world you live in. With all the stimulus around you from buzzing smartphones to screaming advertising, it’s harder than ever to quieten the mind. That’s what makes it even more important for you to train yourself to have a clear mind. Do whatever practice that helps you to focus and clear your mind. Have a positive goal to focus on and the determination to work towards it. The clearer your mind is from disruption and the noise around, the quieter your mind is and the easier it is to live with compassion.
5. Shift your inner values back to those of children – being naturally honest and compassionate.
When you watch a child play, you can see their sweet innocence shine through them. They live in the moment, they have admiration and awe for nature and life, and they are honest about how they feel. As an adult, you have the power to tap back into this childlike energy that brings back more honesty and compassion to the world. Be truthful to yourself about the life you want to lead and share your compassion with yourself and those around you.
6. It’s ok to be angry – as long as you manage the anger.
There’s nothing wrong with being angry when you feel like you’ve been violated. The worst you can do in that situation is to try and suppress it, deny it or beat yourself up about being angry. Obviously don’t spread that anger and take it out on others – but manage it instead. Acknowledge the frustration that you feel, clarify why you are feeling it and come up with an action plan on how to overcome it.
If you can, step away from the situation that’s making you angry to give yourself the time and space to calm down. Then revisit it from a more rational viewpoint and think about how you can prevent this from happening again. Remember that negative emotions like anger are not bad – they are the things that show us what matters to us the most and they are the things that drive us forward. They are the things that make us human.
7. Use common sense to deal with difficulty and loss.
Throughout life you will deal with difficult times and all kinds of losses. That’s a part of life. You can’t run away from it, be angry with it or try to deny it. This is what makes us appreciate the beautiful, amazing things in our life even more. When you are in difficult times, allow the sadness to be there. Don’t hate it but learn to accept it. Trying to deny it will only make it worse. Acknowledge it’s presence but don’t fuel it’s power. Simply sit with it. As time goes on, it will get slightly easier. When you are ready, you will let the negative emotions surrounding that loss to decrease, and you will allow emotions like love, appreciation and peace to take over. That’s when you will experience bigger growth in yourself that you could have never had without this difficulty.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama made it clear that he felt that you could choose happiness right now if you wanted to. He spoke about how 90% of your negativity is your own mental projection. That means that simply by shifting your perspective, you have the enormous power to shift that negative mindset into a positive one. Use these messages of love and compassion towards yourself – and towards others – to help make that happen.
Now I’d love to hear from you. Which of these insights really hit it home for you? And how will you make sure you remember it in times of challenge? Please comment below and we will get some nice discussions going!
If you enjoyed this video, please like it, tweet it, share it, all of it – it’s really appreciated! The more you share, the more you care and the more happiness you’ll be spreading in the world.
Good luck in your adventures and until next time!