Taken from his parents’ home when he was just six years old, the Dalia Lama had a tough life ahead of him. When he was 15, he became a military commander and a diplomat; at 25 he was forced to leave Tibet for India. Fast forward to today – the Dalai Lama is now 79 years old. For over 50 years, hundreds of thousands of people have expected good words and even better actions from him.
To help you make sense of the principles which have helped this incredible man preserve his positive attitude and rational view of the world over so many years, here are 15 life lessons from the Dalai Lama, expressed in his own words.
- Be kind whenever you can — which is all the time.
- Well-being comes through action, not through prayer.
- Arrogance can never be justified. It is the result of either low self-esteem or temporary and superficial achievements.
- When someone feels that everything in their life is going wrong, it means that something wonderful is about to occur.
- People exist to be loved; objects exist to be used. The world is in chaos because these things are the other way round.
- The idea of compassion is not related to religion. It is a universal concept; its existence is the sole condition for the survival of the human race.
- If you can help, you should do so. If you can’t, at the very least don’t do any harm.
- I don’t celebrate birthdays. For me, they’re no different from any other day. In one sense, every day is a day of birth. Every day, you wake up in the morning, everything is fresh and new, and your only goal for the new day is for it to teach you something important.
- The purpose of life is to be happy.
- By maintaining a positive attitude towards life at all times, you can be content even in the most unfavourable circumstances.
- Our enemies provide us with excellent opportunities to practice patience, perseverance and compassion.
- I believe that the only true religion consists in having a good heart.
- We have to maintain control over technology and never allow ourselves to become its slaves.
- Great changes always begin with individuals; the basis for peace in the world is that inner calm and peace found in the heart of every one of us. Each of us can make a contribution.
- Each of us bears responsibility for all of humanity. This is the basis of my simple religion. We have no need of temples or complicated philosophy. Our mind and our heart are our temples; our philosophy is our kindness.
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