I am going to use all my energies
to develop myself,
to expand my heart out to others,
to achieve enlightenment
for the benefit of all beings.’
I don’t know about you, but I need reminders to make smart choices in my day-to-day life – choices that make my life more tranquil and enjoyable. I’m not talking about the important, and sometimes life-altering choices we face, but the seemingly mundane decisions, like ‘will I be perturbed or calm’ when faced with an annoying situation? How often have I hung up the phone after trying unsuccessfully to get through to a help-line feeling disquieted and grumpy, holding on to that grumpiness, and spreading the negative energy out into the world, reliving it all over when sharing the incident with a friend? How many times have I complained about some small inconvenience, or judged someone’s ‘annoying’ behavior, and let these things disturb my serenity? And, then there’s the ubiquitous gray sky here in the Pacific Northwest that I too often let affect my mood, and the many times I get agitated when I’m having problems doing something on the computer – frustrating yes, but crazy-making, I don’t think so. At times like these I need a little help, a quiet wakeup call – someone to whisper in my ear, you’re taking life too seriously, let it go, breathe……. The Dalai Lama is a good teacher. I like to imagine his smiling face and remember his words, The purpose of life is to be happy. I am aware that there are situations in life that genuinely cause unhappiness, and I’m not suggesting we ignore our feelings, or push them down inside to fester in those situations. However, for those times when we choose misery over joy because of some little thing we just don’t like or are inconvenienced by, I’m suggesting to wake up, smile and let it go – choose equanimity over discontent, happiness over miserableness. Today I am going to stop when I notice I’m getting upset over some stupid little incident, or when I’m starting to complain about someone or something, and ask myself, What would the Dalai Lama do?
If you want others to be happy,
If you want to be happy,
Choose to be optimistic,
it feels better.