As I come to the end of this inspiring book, (The Book of Joy by his Holiness the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Abrams, 2016) I offer a few quotes and approaches from the chapters on the “Eight Pillars of Joy.”
“Mental immunity is about reducing fear and anger,
but also about filling our mind and heart with positive thoughts and feelings.”
How do you do this?
- Change the way you see the world from a wider perspective.
- Reframe situations more positively.
- Experience gratitude and choose to be kind and generous with others.
- See not only what you may have lost, but also what you have gained.
“We suffer from a perspectival myopia. As a result, we are left nearsighted, unable to see our experience in a larger way. When we confront a challenge, we often react to the situation with fear and anger.”
How can you respond to this?
- Step back and see other perspectives and solutions.
- Become less fixated, or attached, to one outcome.
- Recognize that there is choice and freedom in the most seemingly limiting circumstances.
- Take something bad that happened in the past and then consider all the good that came out of it.
“Self-centeredness is most of our default perspective. It comes quite understandably from the fact that we are at the center of our world.”
How can we become less self-centered?
- Take on the perspectives of others.
- Stop thinking about your own frustration and pain to help you feel better.
- Shift your perspective from focusing on I, me and mine to we, us and You will less likely be depressed and unhappy.
“To reduce our attachment to our identity, recognize that the less attached we are, the less defensive and reactive we will be and the more effective and skillful we can be.”
What happens when you do this?
- You can empathize with others.
- You see the interdependence that envelopes us all.
- You ultimately treat others as you treat yourself.
- You are able to recognize that we do not control all aspects of any situation.
All this leads to a greater sense of humility, humor, and acceptance. Isn’t that what we all desire in our work and life?
Here’s a quick link to read the Eight Pillars of Joy. You may also want to watch this delightful video below that describes the Eight Pillars of Joy and highlights the visit between his Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu and of course, I highly recommend reading The Book of Joy.