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The Buddha beats the Blues… overcoming depression

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Five years ago, I decided to chant about the fact that I’ve always tended to wake up in a grumpy, grouchy mood. It was a fairly casual decision born of curiosity and no little guilt that my ‘low life-state’ often had a negative impact on people around me.

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The Buddha in the bedroom – 10 ways to create a great loving relationship

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[Takes 7 mins to read]

With Valentine’s Day celebrated on 14 Feb in many countries across the world, here’s a Buddhist perspective on Love. Firstly, Nichiren Daishonin did not set any moral rules about anything in life so there are no ‘do’s and don’ts’ at all about things like sex before marriage, contraception, fidelity, sexual orientation or divorce.

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Perhaps the other big difference from the traditional romantic Western view is that real Love in Buddhism is not about walking ‘into the sunset’ with ‘The Man/Woman’ of your dreams; even though a whole advertising industry has developed over decades to make us believe that meeting ‘The One’ is the answer to all our problems.

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The difference between arrogance and confidence

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I was coaching a company director recently who was struggling to get the best from his team. In conversation he revealed that he was worried about appearing ‘too successful’, adding that there was a “very fine line between confidence and arrogance.” Image

But Buddhism explains that they come from completely different places. Confident leaders want other people to reveal their talents and ultimately outperform them, whereas arrogant leaders need others to continuously feel ‘inferior’ so that they can protect their own low self-esteem (fragile ego) and hide their own deep anxiety.

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The problem with personal development

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Consider this scenario: John and Jane are both on the same personal development course. They’re both buying into all the good stuff that says that they could fulfill more of their potential, that they deserve success, that nobody can make them feel mad, bad or sad, that limiting beliefs sometimes hold them back, that they could set more exciting goals, that some powerful affirmations could boost their self-esteem… in short that they are pretty darned amazingIMG_2771

At the end, does John turn to Jane and say: “You are truly amazing?” Unlikely. He’s too busy saying affirmations into the mirror such as: “I am truly marvellous.” (And good for him, because it’s true.) Of course Jane is just as amazing, in her own unique Jane-like way; why wouldn’t she be? But John would make a more valuable contribution to society if he realised it. And vice-versa.

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The ABC CDE of success

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Someone asked me recently if I had a simple formula for success that was easy to remember and would help them geabct the best from the people they led.

So I went back through notes of my client conversations, looking for a pattern. I also looked back at my own failures and the blockages I was facing in my life at the time. From this exercise sprang a simple formula which I now call my ‘ABC CDE of success’:

  • Ability – do I have the skills and knowledge to achieve this goal?
  • Belief – do I believe I can do it and do I believe I deserve it? This includes having high self-esteem
  • Clarity – am I definitely sure this is what I want?

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