In Buddhism, the term “Buddha-nature” describes the concept that human beings are created by God and that we have the same nature as God, or Buddha, within us. It tells us we are all equal and that every one of us has an ability to create and design our future. However, how many of us truly know what we are here to create? How many can say, “I know my purpose, and I’m living for it?” Staying true to our mission in life is key to staying the course through life’s storms But to hold fast, we must have a clear understanding of what our mission is and a strong mindset to steer us there. Finding our mission and developing the mindset muscle that will keep us on course takes awareness, intention, and effort. Today’s chaotic, uncertain times have brought us to a choice point- sail adrift and rant at the wind and waves or take the helm and navigate a happy and abundant future for ourselves and the world.
Follow these three steps to set your sails:
Step 1: Mind Cleaning
When you remodel your home, it is best to begin with a little house cleaning. By sorting through your belongings and cleaning your rooms, you get an idea of what you have, what you want to keep, what you want to discard, and what you need to create the new space you envision. Similarly, when you set out to remodel your life, a little “mind cleaning” is called for to clean away old, negative habits and make space for your new dreams. It is important to assess your mind’s tendencies, realize what mistakes you have made, and determine what may be lacking in order to make a change for the better. Begin by contemplating these three questions:
- Do you have a tendency to make excuses and to blame the environment or others when things don’t go your way?
—If so, observe your thoughts and words and consciously work on changing them to take responsibility for your circumstances. Japanese spiritual master Ryuho Okawa says that a successful mindset believes “I am responsible for the sky being blue.”
- Do you have a tendency to complain?
—Listen to yourself. Are you complaining? Realize that your thoughts and your words have power. They are the seed of your future. Please be conscious of your thoughts and words and make sure they are positive.
- Have you been thankful?
—Remind yourself that life is a gift. Please reflect on whether you have given enough thanks to the creator- God- for your life. And have you given thanks for the people in your life? No one can live alone; we live for each other. When you realize this, gratitude and the power of your life’s purpose will swell from the bottom of your heart.
Step 2: Finding Your True Mission
Once you master step one, you are ready to discover your True Mission. To embark on that quest, the most important questions to contemplate are: “What if I am the one who created my life plan before I was born? If so, what kind of resolution did I make?” Some of you might want to shout, “I never, ever planned to live this life!” If that is you, try and stifle your emotions for a moment and consider this: What if you had planned your life exactly as it is now? What could you have been meant to accomplish in the environment you find yourself in and the people you are among? Remember your innate Buddha-nature and be grateful that you, like everyone, have the ability to create something new, to design and manifest your dream. When searching for that dream, your True Mission, it is important to leave aside consideration of any of your worldly attachments- status, money, etc.- and listen to the pure voice of passion come up from the bottom of your heart. Take a deep breath, calm your mind, and envision a clean white canvas. The dream you draw on the canvas is your True Mission.
Step 3: Follow Your Passion
Now that you know your mission, you must start making the effort to make the dream you found come true. That dream may seem impossible, given your present circumstances. But it’s important to start thinking about it, to conceive of it. The famous author Dr. Joseph Murphy said, “Change your thoughts and you change your destiny”. Everything begins with a thought. Of course, we can’t just think things into being. We need to make a concerted effort to make our thoughts a reality. But thoughts are strong energy; if powerful enough, they can change reality. If your dream is not just for the sake of your own self-realization, but for the good of others and pleasing to God, it will be realized. If it doesn’t come true, then please go back to step 1 and try to reflect back on your mind’s intentions and tendencies.
The mind is the rudder of our lives. It is imperative we set it right by steering towards our True Mission with loving, grateful, benevolent thoughts.