Friday, August 03, 2007

How To Be Truly Happy

Thus, the practical and realistic aim is compassion, a warm heart, serving other people, helping others, respecting others, being less selfish.
- Dalai Lama

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
- Luke 12:32-34

Your first reaction to reading the quote from the Dalai Lama might be "What a load of crap!" Yet consider this, if you have seen the man in person or on television: Have you ever known a person who is so happy, so complete in his personality, so engaging in his manner or so knowledgeable about so many subjects?

You may not care for the words that he used to describe what he believes as the most practical and realistic aim in life, but you can't argue with his conviction.

The Dalai Lama is the supreme leader of a branch of Buddhism called Tibetan Buddhism. He lost his position as ruler of Tibet and barely escaped with his life decades ago in an escape worthy of the von Trapp family of Sound of Music fame.

The people of Tibet, his devoted followers, have not seen him for many years, yet few would question his hold on the position of leader of the faith. He has lived in exile, has travelled around the world many times, has been greeted by the leaders of many countries and other faiths, but he doesn't have a safe place in Tibet, the country of his home and his heart.

He speaks before millions of people each year. Everyone can see how content he is, how happy he is, how satisfied that he is fulfilling his destiny. Why do we get that impression of him? Because what we perceive is the way he is. There is nothing false about the man.

How many of us can say the same thing about ourselves?

As Luke wrote, his heart is where his treasure is. And his treasure? His treasure is giving to others, helping others, respecting others, being less selfish toward them than they may be toward him.

He never asks anyone to convert to his faith. He simply lives the life that most of us would envy because of his happiness (though not perhaps for other reasons). He is a role model that we can follow to be happy.

Not many around us act like that. But those around the Dalai Lama do. The ones around us have different treasures, but their happiness may be more bought than inspired from within.
We can be that happy. We can inspire others to be happy.

We have our role model and his recipe. To be that happy we just have to turn away from the treasures we are taught to appreciate by others who are not happy and turn toward the treasure of our role model. So far as we know, our role model never fails us. He is always happy.

No doubt he has problems as we all do. But he knows that his mission in life, his passion, his treasure, will remain where his heart is.

Problems are temporary. Life goes on past them. We only need to follow the example of our role model to be happy.

And it won't cost a cent.

Begin your new life of happiness with a smile. Remember how charismatic the Dalai Lama, an otherwise plain man, looks when he smiles. That's where to start.

Make your treasure what is really important in life, not what advertisers and industries tell us it is. Then let your heart follow.

Bill Allin
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems, striving to show the way to happiness that costs nothing but your heart.
Learn more at

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