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.
[For more detail, see: Overview of the Six Perfections: Six Paramitas]
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.
[For more detail, see: How to Be a Positive Influence on Others]
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 Cultivate for Achieving Your Positive Goals
- Being content – with achieving a realistic goal, without being greedy for something unrealistic
- Not becoming frustrated, resentful or antagonistic with others – when inevitably something goes wrong
- Keeping your focus on the goal – and on the benefits it will bring when you have achieved it
- Taming your mind – to remain calm and to keep emotional balance no matter what happens
- Always remembering that everything changes – no matter what mood you’re in, your mental and emotional states are not fixed or permanent, but can be improved
- Maintaining peace of mind – from knowing that you are trying your best.
Ways to Take Control of Your Life
- Don't get into a position of being powerless to make your own decisions – it makes you compromise your principles and do things you regret
- Avoid being unfaithful, if you are in a sexual relationship – it inevitably leads to complications and trouble
- Don't strive for a high position with great responsibilities – it will take up all your time and energy
- Don't let others influence you to give up your positive habits, such as eating a healthy diet, not smoking, and exercising – it will damage your health and well-being
- Don't commit yourself to doing something you can’t accomplish – it will make you lose self-confidence
- Refrain from acting recklessly – it just brings negative consequences.
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.