Today, I’d like to encourage my readers to revisit their 2017 and 2018 intentions again based on the Dalai Lama’s refreshingly simple and direct guidelines. During his 2018 New Year’s day address, which you can watch here, His Holiness said:
“When you look back… how would you think about the year that you have spent?” asked His Holiness. “Would you have a sense of contentment, saying that ‘I have lived that year well. I have served the purpose of that year.’? Or would you be looking back with a sense of regret for all the troubles you have caused?”
As for the year ahead, the Dalai Lama said:
“If an individual were to make conscious intention to live his or her life with a sense of purpose, live it in a good way, then the ripple effect of that really spreads. First, from the individual to the family, then to the community… and so on. This is how society gets changed and effected.” said His Holiness.
My guiding intention for 2018 is,
…to be kind to others and to myself. When in doubt, I’ll ask myself, ‘What is the kind thing to do or say?
We’re only on day six of the New Year and I am already extremely conscious that being kind to others is far easier than being kind to myself. I would never place the ridiculously high expectations that I place on myself on others. I judge myself by what I do and don’t do and even by what I think. Since I never approach “perfection” for any of these criterion, I constantly judge myself to be a failure.
The Dalai Lama is famously quoted as saying, “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” If I am kind in 2018 — to others and, primarily, to myself — then 359 days from now I will be able to look back at this year as being a success.