BY SOFO ARCHON
The more we learn, the more we mature and grow into wiser beings. Wisdom, however, is not just collecting knowledge from here and there, but actually putting knowledge into practice.
In my journey, I’ve come to learn some lessons that completely transformed the way I live, and here I would like to share with you twelve of the most important life-changing pieces of wisdom that I’ve come to realize and which I’d advice you to keep in mind, so that they can guide you towards a more peaceful, happy, free and beautiful life.
1. What you think you become. Your mind is like a magnet attracting in your life what you constantly think about. Think of positive thoughts, and you’ll attract positivity into your life. Keep a negative mindset, and you’ll be surrounded by negativity.
2. Words are powerful. Words are a tool that helps us communicate with one another, but many of us don’t realize their tremendous power. Words can hurt or heal yourself and those around you, so always be mindful of the words you utter.
3. Everything is interdependent. Look at a tree: it is dependent on the soil, water, air and so on — without these elements, it cannot manifest. In exactly the same way, each one of us is dependent on our environment and in turn is making an impact on it. Hence, what we do to the world we do to ourselves, and vice versa.
4. Life is temporary. Whatever exists changes, and the only thing that doesn’t change is change itself. Thus, those who are attached to phenomena are bound to suffer, and only those who have learned to let go of their attachments and embrace the flow of life are able to find joy and peace in every moment.
5. Kindness can change the world. A single act of kindness can bring forth a series of acts of kindness, creating a circle of kindness that affects the entire world. Choose to be kind, even to those who are unkind to you, and the world will become a better place.
6. Work can be beautiful. In our monetary system, we are forced to submit to labor in order to earn money so that we can survive. Hence, it’s not surprising that most of us dislike or even hate work. Work, however, doesn’t necessarily have to be this way — it can actually be beautiful, if done out of the loving desire to create and contribute your gifts to the world.
7. Happiness is contagious. Happiness is, in a sense, like a virus. A person who is happy, smiling and has a positive attitude can influence those around him or her by making them happy too, without even trying to do so — just his or her presence is enough to achieve that. Once you learn to find happiness within, you won’t help but spread happiness to the world.
8. Simplicity is the key to the good life. All the great spiritual masters that have walked on earth have taught that to live well one has to live simply. To live simply means to not desire many things after you’ve fulfilled your needs, as well as to appreciate and be grateful for those things that you already have. It means to be detached from material possessions and superficial wants, and be focused on what truly matters in life.
9. Pain is there for a reason. Most people are afraid of pain and do anything to avoid it, which only results in even more pain. Pain is not an enemy but a friend who wants to teach you something important, so pay close attention to it so you can understand it’s there and how you can overcome it.
10. Money doesn’t measure success. Although in our stupid economic system money is needed so that people can “earn a living,” money itself is not enough to bring you success, contrary to what most people have been made to believe. Success in life means to live purposefully and meaningfully, to find peace with yourself and others, and to live in a way that reflects your highest values and ideals — and the endless pursuit of acquiring more money is an obstacle to achieving all the above.
11. Friendship is important. In the modern world, especially in the West, people have become disconnected from one another. Not surprisingly, they feel lonely and alienated, being unable to relate to one another and form intimate relationships. But since it is a deep psychological need of ours to feel connected with others, we need to realize the importance of friendship and choose to spend more time with our fellow human beings.
12. You can make a difference. You might think that you are just a powerless person who doesn’t have what it takes to help create a more beautiful world, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality is that every person has the power in his or her hands to contribute something of importance to the world that can help make it a better place. In fact, unless each one of us embodies the change that we wish to see in the world, no change is ever going to take place.
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