Feeling like our happiest and most productive versions of ourselves is a great state of mind to be in, in order to chase our dreams. But we all need a bit of guidance and direction from the people who have seen it all and are thought leaders in Mindfulness. This is why we’ve compiled some of the most important lessons/quotes from people who have attained the highest level possible.
We looked for the people who actively tried to make the world a better place to live in. They went through great measures to get to where they were and we wanted to understand how they kept going when things inevitably became hard. Their minds and the way they thought about the world was the most important thing in their journey to become who they are now.
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.”
Eckhart Tolle, one of the leading thought leaders on Mindfulness through his book “The power of Now”, which explains that it is not the situation itself that makes us unhappy but our thoughts about the situation. Choosing a quote from Eckhart was a difficult task as he has many pearls of wisdom but we chose this one because our thoughts guide us to become who we eventually end up becoming.
Be consciously aware of the thoughts you are thinking and separate them from the situation. There are facts and then there are stories you tell yourself about those facts. For example, “I am a loser” is a story you’re telling yourself whereas “I just lost” is a fact.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms—to choose one’s own attitude in any given set of circumstances—to choose one’s own way.”
Victor Frankl. Victor, was a holocaust survivor and had to endure inhumane conditions and various atrocities in the Nazi death camps. He also had to endure seeing his loved ones perish right before his eyes. He observed many people around him surrender and give up.
Though he also closely observed those who, like him, survived and made it through on the other side. It was not those who were physically strong, but those who retained a sense of control over their environment. It was those who perceived to attach some meaning to their existence. This shows that the undeniable human spirit can prevail even in the darkest of circumstances. We can all choose to perceive our difficult circumstances to be a guiding force to make us stronger, Victor Frankl certainly did. And because he saw the bigger picture, his words and legacy have continued to inspire generations long after he passed away.
“Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.”
Oprah Winfrey is one of the most accomplished women on this planet and she attributes gratitude as a key component to her success. Oprah realized that gratitude was a happiness multiplier in many ways. It enhanced the positive memories in her life and also decreased the space for feelings like 'not having enough’.
Always being grateful isn’t easy but it is something we must practice everyday to truly get better at it. Gratitude is especially important in times where nothing feels like it is going your way, to remind yourself of the beauty that still remains in your life. It is the quickest way to see your life in a different perspective and thereby change it.
The Dalai Lama
“Too much self-centered attitude, you see, brings isolation. Result: loneliness, fear, anger. The extreme self-centered attitude is the source of suffering.”
Dalai Lama, one of the world’s most influential leaders, is the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism and the recipient of the Nobel peace prize for his nonviolent efforts in the liberation of Tibet. The Dalai Lama believes the root of human suffering lies within self centeredness; where we’re fixating on our own needs instead of the needs of the wider world around us.
By deploying our minds outwards we are better served with learning virtues such as compassion, empathy and loving kindness. His holiness believes in the act of serving others to observe happiness. When we serve others, wether that's helping someone in our personal lives or through volunteering our time, we observe a multitude of positive emotions such as gratitude, sense of achievement and satisfaction that is unmatched, which in turn activates the release of the happiness hormone.
“Every problem is a gift - without problems we would not grow.”
Tony Robbins is one of the great motivational leaders of this era. As a “life coach” and motivational speaker Tony has helped millions around the world. He has also written five best selling books. He views problems to be of great personal importance in an evolution for further growth. The most common trait all human beings face, whether you’re a millionaire or struggling to get by is that we all deal with problems. Yes, the levels of problems we face vary in difficulty but we’re all in the same boat in terms of we ALL have to face problems.
Accepting problems as a part of the journey allows us to see them as normal, unavoidable parts of our lives and thereby allows us to approach them objectively. Your defeats, heartbreaks and misgivings are all a part of the journey towards a better/different version of you. After all, without despair we may not find the true value of joy, without heartbreak we cannot feel the unbridled joy of love, without failure success would not taste as sweet.