Goals, Guides and Growth. . .
Sometimes we feel lost and have no idea how to handle the challenges of life and accomplish our positive goals. We’re even stumped about how to get along better with others. When we look to the traditional Buddhist teachings, we find an abundance of practical guidelines that are helpful for anyone, at any time, in any culture.
Qualities to Cultivate for Helping Others
- Generosity – with your time, advice, help, and possessions
- Self-discipline – to avoid destructive ways of behaving or speaking, and to help others in whatever ways you can
- Patience – with the difficulties in helping others, so as not to get angry or frustrated
- Courage and endurance – to go on, no matter how rough things get
- Mental and emotional stability – to stay focused and not get thrown off course
- Discrimination – between what is helpful and what is harmful, and what is appropriate and what is inappropriate.
Ways to Be a Positive Influence on Others
- Be generous – with your time, interest and energy
- Speak kindly – mindful that not only what you say, but also how you say it affects others
- Speak and act in a meaningful manner – encouraging others to develop their constructive skills
- Set a good example – by practicing what you advise.
Ways to Accomplish Your Positive Goals
- Be clear about your goal – make sure it’s realistic, and have confidence in your ability to achieve it
- Maintain self-discipline – to keep focused on the goal, without getting sidetracked or doing anything that would jeopardize achieving it
- Be generous – with your time and effort to work toward the goal
- Be open-minded – keep on learning more that will help you achieve your goal
- Maintain a sense of self-dignity – not to act in shameful ways that would endanger reaching your goal
- Maintain concern – for how any irresponsible behavior will negatively affect your team
- Discriminate carefully – between what will help and what will hinder your progress.
Qualities to Develop That Help You Avoid Problems in Challenging Circumstances
- Not getting excited – when praised or criticized
- Remaining mindful not to be clinging or hostile – when meeting someone you are attached to or dislike
- Not behaving in ways that contradict your good principles – when engaged in your usual activities
- Not being obsessed with material things – when having many possessions or much wealth, to the neglect of your higher goals
- Not feeling sorry for yourself – when sick or in pain, but using it as a circumstance to work further on developing inner strength and character
- Working on overcoming your shortcomings and realizing your full positive potentials – at all times.
It is like a lighted torch whose flame can be distributed to ever so many other torches which people may bring along; and therewith they will cook food and dispel darkness, while the original torch itself remains burning ever the same. It is even so with the bliss of the Way. Gautama Buddha
Peace and Love, Jim