4 Buddha Lessons for Business Life
Balancing the never-ending demands of a busy life with some peace and quiet is a challenge that might feel daunting. It doesn’t have to be that way! The teachings of Buddha do not ask that you remove yourself from everyday life and become a monk.The secret to finding peace and an enlightened life is closer than you think.
How can the teachings of Buddha enlighten you in your business life?
Buddha left the business of running a kingdom for a monastic life. After years of going from one extreme to the next, he found that the middle way is the healthiest way. Although they are over 2000 years old, his teachings are, above all, practical. You are meant to explore, understand and test them.
Buddha found that there are 4 basic lessons you must learn in order to find peace and happiness:
- Suffering is common
- We cause our own suffering
- Suffering can be ended
- Follow the path that ends suffering
Here’s how these four lessons translate into your everyday 21st century life:
- Don’t sweat the small stuff
We all do it: We worry incessantly about things we said, did or are about to do. Worrying is for most of us a daily activity that is equivalent to suffering.
Recognize that by worrying about the small stuff you actually create a lot more suffering than you need to. Buddha teaches you that by letting go of the importance you give to your thoughts, your mind becomes calm and you won’t be affected as much, when things go wrong.
- Let others enlighten you
The second lesson of Buddha is that you alone are the cause of your suffering. Being an entrepreneur or manager sometimes means asking for help. Many independent business people, such as yourself, don’t want to. You want to do it alone.
Ideas you have about how things should be done are often a cause for suffering. An unwillingness to accept help is a way you can let yourself suffer.
Why are you resisting support from others? Why do you believe you have to do it alone?
Watch yourself next time a co-worker or another key figure gives you tips or advice. What do you do? Do you shut them down or can you open up to their involvement?
All the people in your life are mirrors for your own thoughts and belief systems, watch your reactions to them and they will shed a light on the causes of your suffering.
Enlightenment can be found in everyday life
- Change your communication style
The good news is you can end your own suffering.
Watch how you speak to yourself and to others. Try to apply the principle of non-violence.
To be non-violent in your thoughts means to stop entertaining negative thoughts of doubt, worry, jealousy and hatred. To be non-violent towards others could mean you avoid criticizing, abstain from gossiping or refrain from telling jokes about others.
Instead, try to be open, kind, honest, respectful and eager to learn. You will notice that in giving kindness towards others, you’re giving kindness to yourself.
Be a role model for others. Over time you will become more generous and wise and you will come across as a loving and respectful leader.
- Find your enlightenment in everyday life
The path that frees you from suffering is about learning to control your mind by getting rid of all the poisons, one by one. That means undergoing a deep transformation from the inside out.
Being in business means dealing with a never-ending stream of demands from clients, colleagues or co-workers. It’s quite easy to get so involved in the outside daily activities that you forget why you started doing them in the first place.
To regain focus, try to remember why you started doing this work in the first place. What was your personal mission and vision? What do you want to achieve for yourself in the future? Is it money? Ambition? Power? Fame? Are these desires really important to you? What is your real purpose in life?
Checking in with yourself on a regular basis during the day sets up a process of self-understanding that is the foundation for your personal awakening.
Consciously clearing your thoughts, speech and actions of negative influences creates more clarity and focus.
Checking in with your heart and feeling the connection to your life’s purpose creates happiness and compassion.
Let your (business) light shine!