You will never be truly happy unless part of you already knows (or is at least willing to imagine) that life is precious. It took me 24 years of Buddhist practice to begin to glimpse this fundamental truth! Of course I know some non-Buddhists who seem to havpink leafe been born this way – feeling that every moment and every life is valuable and feeling grateful just to wake up every morning. May hats be doffed to you, because once you get this truth, there is almost no limit to what you can be, do and achieve in terms of goals and relationships.

My grandma (a devout Catholic by the way) died at 93 (a good 20 years after her death was first predicted), writhing in pain from cancer for much of her later days and yet and yet… She still had a twinkle in her eye to the end, even though she could barely see. In fact when I kissed her on the cheek five days before she died, she was confused at first, thinking I was her fit young doctor and laughed so much when she realised it wasn’t. So when (like her) you know that life is, in and of itself truly precious, you can have a youthful spirit all the time, however grey your temples or creaky your knees. Even if you’re just days from death.

When you think: Sod it, I’m going to drink too much, or start an argument over a nothing (albeit a nothing that feels huge in that moment) or give up on a goal (again) or put up with an abusive relationship, you are, on a very deep level saying to yourself and the Universe: “Life is worthless.” This is the point at which our ‘fundamental darkness’ or ‘inner gremlin’ quietly and gleefully sniggers, knowing that it has beaten our positive intentions.

If you knew in your heart that life was precious and worthy of the deepest respect, why would you ever beat yourself up, neglect your health, hurt others, ignore your loved ones, settle for second best or give up on your dreams? Might you naturally be more determined, more respectful and more grateful?

Would you make sure you have more things to look forward to? Might you succumb less often to laziness and procrastination – after all, every time you say “I can’t be arsed”, you’re telling the Universe that life is not precious. Would you enjoy every moment more? Would you find a partner who deeply respected you, just as you are? Might you work harder, look after your customers better or study more? Might you finally write that novel you’ve always wanted to write?

As Nichiren declared: “A single life is worth more than the universe. How precious life is!”

This little blog is my attempt to inspire myself and other people every day, based on an ever deeper understanding that every moment and every life is precious.

This week’s affirmations:

  • Every moment is precious and I am grateful for every moment I am alive
  • Knowing this is true there is so much more I can be and do
  • From now on, I dig up great determination to achieve my full potential
  • I love and treasure the very essence of life itself

Next week: the ABC CDE of success