5 Tips To Happiness According To The Dalai Lama — Eric Scott Burdon
One of the most popular individuals in the world is the 14th Dalai Lama — Lhamo Thondup. You can easily see why as he exudes happiness around him while also providing a wealth of knowledge and insight. Despite the various issues that his country has faced, he’s been able to endure it all while still maintaining great positivity.
Some might even say he has toxic positivity, though I’d disagree. I mean this is the guy that quoted this beauty:
“There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’ No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.” — Dalai Lama XIV
He is fully aware of his problems and isn’t avoiding them by indulging in further positivity or anything.
But that does raise the question why is he able to be so happy all the time? Why does he never seem to break down or get angry over things? Well a lot of it comes to his own teachings and his own principles. He has passed these along to other people so that they too may be able to enjoy happiness.
You may not have the iron will of the Dalai Lama, however his tips on happiness are very helpful for those who want more happiness in their lives.
Be As Truthful As You Can
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” — Dalai Lama XIV
Another common saying is that the truth hurts. And to that extent I agree with it. But it does make you honest and truthful. The Dalai Lama suggests that being honest and truthful with ourselves and with others is a better strategy than covering things up or lying.
When we are truthful throughout the entire process, we can strive to find happiness faster rather than believing in a false statement for extended periods of time. Our words carry significant weight on them and they can move one or many individuals depending on the words that are being used.
Many people know this and have created all kinds of chaos and discourse in the world. For me, I’d like to strive for kindness and happiness as much as can. For that, I need to be truthful and honest with myself and with those around me. After all, I’ve experienced what it can be like to build a life around a single event or a phrase that was uttered.
It’s not at all worth it.
Be Stronger Than Anger Or Hatred
“Anger is the ultimate destroyer of your own peace of mind.” — Dalai Lama XIV
Whenever we get angry or have hatred, we tend to shift the blame onto other people. It’s one of our many psychological tendencies whenever things go bad or we’re angry or have hatred. While it does provide some coping for us, it often causes more damage after everything is settled.
An extreme case is Trumpism which all started with hatred and anger about a number of issues and Trump being the one to personify it and amplify it. He did this by giving people a direction to shift blame onto others. As a result, it’s caused a huge disparity in America. It separates people from within America and from many other people around the world.
There are other ways that we harbour anger beyond shifting the blame. That being letting it take up mental space and us refusing to forgive people. This too can impact us in a large mental way.
Naturally, a way that we can move past this anger and hatred is to mentally combat it and come to terms with it.
The Dalai Lama suggests that we meditate more and look at these emotions and reconcile with them.
I’m of a similar mind though you don’t always have to meditate to uncover it. Sometimes talking to other people or even yourself can help you with understanding these emotions.
I say this as I’m aware that as children we often don’t address our emotions, nor do our parents bothered to help us navigate these emotions either. Many parents have fallen into the trap of brushing off children’s emotions rather than taking them seriously and helping them identify the sources.
That neglect leads to children not addressing complicated emotions which become more explosive as an adult.
Meditating is a way for us to navigate through those emotions and deal with them but the same can be done by talking it out too.
Overcome Your Negative Thoughts
“The true hero is one who conquers his own anger and hatred.” — Dalai Lama XIV
Negative thoughts encourage more negative thoughts to spring up and it’s easy for us to feed into that downward spiral. This is a larger factor these days since the pandemic has shaken the world and there is a lot of negativity being posted on a regular basis.
But these things can be overcome over time. You can practice positivity on a regular basis through your own habits. The Dalai Lama also presents some other insights to expand on the tips I gave on boosting happiness and positivity.
He’s said in the past that negativity breeds isolation, loneliness, and fear. These can lead to us feeling hatred, greed, envy, aversion, and anger. And going back to what was mentioned before, it leads us to wanting a scapegoat to escape those emotions and normalizing those emotions in our own lives.
It leads us down a path where we are lying to ourselves about our own emotions. We experience anger and hatred when in reality, maybe we’re afraid of what the future holds? Or perhaps we’re lonely and need a sense of community in our lives?
We don’t know until we learn to address our emotions and dig deep within them. Whenever we do experience a negative emotion, it’s important that we don’t deny it but rather accept it, breathe it out and understand why we’re experiencing this.
Happiness Stems From Compassion For Others
“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” — Dalai Lama XIV
I think we can all get behind helping other people. It’s something that I push as well as it provides great therapy, and makes an impact on the world. Even if it’s a little, it can still make a difference to people in a big way. Especially if you go beyond what most people consider as helping — like donating to a cause, or sharing a post on social media — and doing a genuine act of kindness and support.
In respect to that, showing compassion can be difficult and it’s important to assess whether you are being compassionate or not solving the problem. For example, I have a friend who earlier this year was asking for money to help him cover costs. I supported him a few times before I eventually stopped. Even though the money was helping, it was clear he was using me and he could get by on his own.
Especially since I haven’t heard from him for over 5 years.
The idea with showing compassion is getting yourself into the headspace that everyone is valuable — yourself included. We are our own source of happiness and as he mentioned before, our own actions can drive our emotions. If we open up with being compassionate towards other individuals, it’s easier for us to be kind to other people and strive to understand them.
It also helps us to know when to stop helping or that we need to consider a different approach to how we help other people.
Happiness Can Be Found By Shifting Perspectives
“Choose to be optimistic; it feels better.” — Dalai Lama XIV
One thing that I learned not long ago is that by learning more about yourself, the more you open up to the world around you. You learn new perspectives and you’re able to process all of it through this curiosity. How you can grow this curiosity and learn about yourself stems from talking to yourself.
It sounds crazy, but there are a number of benefits to talking to yourself on a regular basis.
I find these days talking to myself is even more important as it’s helped me over the years to define a variety of concepts that people blindly accept. One such example is religion. Many people of faith find it easy to accept a particular faith but have you ever considered your emotions? Why do you practice that faith? What sort of benefit do you aim to get from it?
I spent a fair bit of time thinking about that when I was a teen and from it, developed my own kind of belief system and understood what I stood for.
All of that stemmed from me spending time with myself and talking to myself.
Further practice of this got me to look at other perspectives as well and allowed me to come to terms with even something as complicated as politics. It’s still a complicated thing, but I can understand why people choose one side over another now. Furthermore why some people cling to sides that have done some terrible things.
You can apply all of this logic to your own individual problems as well. We have a tendency to tunnel in on a problem and often lack the ability to see the bigger picture. We tend to tackle one problem and move on to the next. Little do we know that solving some issues leads to us creating more problems further down the road.
The idea isn’t to cave into despair or get exhausted over it but rather ask yourself if there are other ways to think of something or another way to solve a problem you’re currently facing. The Dalai Lama has another popular quote that summarizes this: “ No mud, no lotus “
If there is no bad things, there is no good that can sprout from it. As such, you want to focus your energy on the lotus — your solutions and good things — rather than the mud — all of your problems.
Find Happiness Everywhere
Happiness is everywhere when you take the time to look for it. To me, it’s all one big mental problem to solve and the solution is to spend time in your head. Understand your emotions and know what triggers them and striving to take positive actions out in the world around you.
And a lot of this is what the Dalai Lama is talking about and how he handles his own life. Even though he is exiled from his hometown in Tibet, he has been able to smile and spread love, joy, and kindness to the world. That admirable for someone who’s faced dire circumstances.
And so, if we can learn even a little bit from him, I believe we can make an impact in our own lives and our own community right now.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon
Originally published at https://ericscottburdon.com on August 12, 2020.