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May the world be kind to you, and may your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself. - Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Dalai Lama: The purpose of our lives is to be happy

The purpose of our lives is to be happy.
- Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama
Choosing to live a happy life is not only our greatest gift to ourselves, it is also the greatest gift we can give to those around us. When we are happy, we radiate happiness, and that is infectious. Consider giving the gift of happiness to yourself as being your gift to all humanity.


  1. Yes, will be minful to be happy and to give this gift of happinness to others.

  2. Seriously? This is about as shallow a thought as I've heard in years. Life is not about happiness at all, but about living significantly by giving my life in service to others.

    Happiness is a temporal emotion, not something to base our entire purpose around. Giving my life in service to others is just as likely to result in me not being emotionally "up".

    I'm heading to Kenya in February to see how we can help small business owners in the slums who live in squalid conditions. I have no intention of becoming personally "happier" by living w/ them in this condition for two weeks.

    The Dalai Lama is clearly confusing joy with happiness. Joy is a condition of the heart that is not dependent on emotions but on a life given in service no matter how I feel. Happiness is a simple emotion more often connected with temporal pleasures and almost never connected with giving ourselves to others.

    Was Gandhi happy to be regularly beaten and eventually killed to serve others? Did Jesus express happiness while being beaten and killed to serve others?

    Joy is a deep conviction that what I am doing is right regardless of how it makes me (or others) feel. Happiness is a silly surface emotion that carries with it no depth at all.

    Does the Dalai Lama truly believe the purpose of my life is to be happy? I surely hope not.

  3. Chuck,

    The miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it.
    - Mother Teresa.

    In my opinion, Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, Gandhi, and Jesus found happiness in the work they chose to do. They are admirable not because they suffered in being of service to others, but that they found their source of happiness (joy if you prefer) in that service.

    You will find it easier to read my writing if you equate the words Happiness and Joy, as I do.

  4. The purpose in life is to become fertilizer, some hopefully sooner than others. I can hardly wait to feed the worms and the roots.

    Arthur Malloy

  5. Happiness comes to them who opens their door for small treats that life provides to them. So be happy and live longer!

  6. By helping those in need we feel good. A sense of giving is what gives us personal satisfaction. Contributing to Society. Thus the phrase- "Happy to help"! Volunteer at a Nursing Home or Homeless shelter. I dare you to not feel Happy about yourself. It's Human Nature.


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