Meditation and mindfulness are great for keeping your sanity, especially while you’re on the road. But what about when you’re faced with those deeper questions about identity, home, career, life? The world is so wide and the possibilities endless. It’s sometimes difficult to know which way to turn.
Nichiren Buddhism is based on the belief that you already have everything you need within you to overcome any obstacles. Rather than trying to detach yourself, this philosophy is about living a fulfilling life on a daily basis, and navigating whatever comes our way. Here are some tips and principles based on Nichiren Buddhism to help you build a strong and solid self so that no matter where your feet take you, you and your happiness remain unshakeable.
Start off the morning right
The morning is an opportunity to set the tone for the day. Write down your goals or determinations for the day before setting out, or keep a list handy to read each morning. They can be simple goals like organizing your photo library, or long-term ones such as writing ten pages a day for your novel. When you start the day this way it fills you with the energy and drive you need to accomplish your tasks and helps you to remember the bigger picture when those little distractions get in the way.
You have unlimited potential
You have every single tool you already need within you, it’s just a matter of bringing it forth. Having unlimited potential means that you never stop growing, and you can do whatever you set your mind to. When you believe in yourself and understand how truly capable you are, the sense of freedom it comes with is incredible! Because once you realize it, there’s nothing that can stop you and you will amaze yourself with what you can accomplish. Things start to fall into place in ways that you’ve never imagined, situations that you found daunting before seem like a piece of cake, risks start getting easier to take. When you truly believe in yourself and your inherent potential, there’s no stopping you.
Change poison into medicine
We will inevitably run into negative situations or encounters throughout the day. Struggles are a part of life. When you change poison into medicine it’s more than simply seeking the positive side of a negative situation, you’re actually using a negative situation and turning it into something positive. For example, a friend of mine who I confided in ended up betraying me and accusing me of being terrible things. As hurtful as this situation was, with time I was able to learn to fully love and accept myself because of this conversation. Though it may be a rough situation to navigate, there is always something to be gained from every situation we encounter, even if sometimes you have to dig a little deep to find out what it is.
From this moment on
Mistakes are a given, no one is perfect, and sometimes it’s hard to forget them. It’s also easy to get caught up in a tough situation where you feel like you may be backsliding. The key is to not get caught up in the past, but to focus on the present moment. What can you be doing right now to turn the situation around? We can’t go back and change what already happened, but you can change and shape the future, your future. So look hard at the situation and come up with solutions to put into place from here on out. Some days it’s harder than others, but even an inch forward is a huge success, and before you know it, you will have advanced miles.
Spread the happiness
Ever find that you realize something about yourself or your own struggles when you’re helping someone through theirs? When you light a lantern for someone else, your own path will also be lit. On days where it may be hard to find a reason to be cheerful, when you help someone else to smile, you’ll find that you end up smiling too. Reaching a state of something that we call absolute happiness – happiness that isn’t determined by your circumstances – is sped up by sharing the joy and helping others to become happy.
Building a strong sense of self takes hard work and effort, but if you take small steps daily and take action, you’ll be unshakeable. I’m often swayed by my circumstances, especially moving from one city to the next year after year. When I begin to understand myself in my new surroundings, it’s time to pack up and move to the next place, and I once again feel out of place, out of context. Make it a point to remember how powerful you really are and that as long as you are internally rooted you will find happiness, no matter where in the world you may end up.
Nina Lee is a Brooklyn native flying across the world as often as is possible. She wears her heart on her sleeve and carries her pen and passport in her ink-stained hand, sharing her travel stories and personal journeys in the hopes of inspiring and connecting to others. Currently based in New York City, she’s excited to be heading back to Spain indefinitely this coming summer. Find more of her travel stories at worldintowords.com.