You are a Buddha! Yes, you. Don’t look around. I’m not talking to the person over your left shoulder. I am talking to you. Are you surprised? Do you think perhaps that I don’t know you, not really. That if I did know you, and everything you’ve done in your life to date, I would think very differently? If only I knew about the crazy shenanigans, prankster behaviour and also downright evil stuff you’ve done, I would not now be comparing you to a highly evolved spiritual being?!
You’re wrong. Regardless of the fact you shagged your last boyfriend’s brother or last girlfriends sister, stole more than cookies out of the cookie jar and haven’t paid your taxes in years. You, my friend, still have the true nature of a Buddha. Because, at the end of the day, we all do. The problem is, we get caught up in the appearance of our minds, in our thoughts, judgements, attachments and opinions, and don’t realise our true nature.
In Tibetan Buddhism, they separate the mind into two parts; the true nature of mind and the appearance of mind. Our true nature is wisdom and compassion. The appearance of our mind, the part we unfortunately attach far too much importance to, is the appearance of mind, our thoughts and distractions.
Why, in a career blog, am I banging on about Buddhism? Stay with me here. Firstly it’s because I try (emphasis on try) to live by Buddhist principles, oh and this is my blog. More importantly, though, is because having a great career is only a potential vehicle for success and happiness. It is not, on it’s own, going to make you happy. Sure, in the short term a fat pay-check and a corner office may make you feel pretty good. At the end of the day, though, that happiness will be fleeting. You also are unlikely to get even the short-term satisfaction of the fancy-pants job if you are too caught up in your own worries and insecurities to realise your own brilliance and reach for the stars, career-wise.
If you want to be truly happy and reach your potential within your career, you first need to understand that all success begins in the mind. It begins with understanding you are more than - so so much more than - your thoughts, opinions and distractions. Your true nature is beautiful and amazing. I’m going to throw out the tried and true analogy of the sky here. Your mind is like the sky and all those thoughts and worries are clouds in the sky, polluting your mind and obstructing the view of the beautiful clear faultless sky. How do you realise this? You guessed it, meditation. However, meditation doesn’t have to mean sitting on a cushion, legs crossed, surrounded by burning incense and dream-catchers. You can enter a state of mindfulness at any given moment by simply being truly present in the moment, absorbed in the here and now, and finding the joy in that moment (not thinking about the past or worrying about the future). However, if you do want to train your mind, increase your focus and decrease your worries you’ll want to start a formal meditation practice. If you want to kick off, www.calm.com has a great app. Or to understand more about what meditation really is, I’d recommend Rigpa http://whatmeditationreallyis.com.
So, wherever your mind is right now, bring it back to this moment, stay in this moment and understand that you are wisdom and compassion. You can harness your compassion to be kind to yourself and your wisdom to understand your potential. You can live the life you’ve always imagined, if you just start by training your mind first.