How to Lead a Purposeful Life


Grandmaster JinBodhi’s Teachings to Youth Group in Korea

A purposeful life: How to lead a purposeful life? First of all, we must set a worthy and splendid goal in life. The more ambitious your goal is, the more complete your preparations must be. For instance, if you wish to build a 20-storey building on your own, you must be knowledgeable about everything from building structure to building materials, mechanics to architectural design. You would also need to have a comprehensive understanding of windows and window panes, plumbing, electricity, interior design, etc., etc. In whatever you do, it is vital that you have a complete understanding of the subject matter. Otherwise, your ignorance will be your stumbling block.

Is there anyone in this world who knows everything? No. However, there are those who are more knowledgeable than others, and he who truly puts his knowledge to good use will, in fact, live an extraordinary life. In my opinion, those who are capable should not focus on trivial, limited goals. It is like aiming to take good care of pigs for the rest of your life instead of daring to venture beyond the pigsty. You may as well become food for the pigs! Too many talented and able people are absorbed in insignificant tasks. Clinging to meaningless desires, they wander into the ‘pigsties’, and there they are trapped, ultimately becoming pig feed.

A worthy person has a broader vision and greater goals. He is willing to die fighting for what is truly precious. Such a person lives a brilliant life. Being able to sacrifice everything for a worthy cause is what differentiates a hero from an ordinary person, a successful person from a failure. A failure is not a bad person; rather, he is too narrow-minded, short-sighted and petty. This leads to negative emotions such as anger and resentment (which are often unnecessary), giving rise to many illnesses. In fact, depression and similar ailments originate from selfishness and negativity. Choosing to blame others and focussing only on one’s misfortune and unhappiness will only bring about more suffering and sickness. Why not concentrate on the necessities first, such as finding a job and feeding yourself? Just tell yourself, “Whatever! Who cares?” and carry on with your life. Once you have learned to let go, your mind and body will feel at ease. Many diseases, whether physical or psychological, are a result of idleness.

Keeping an open mind allows you to avoid anger with ease. That is because wisdom and knowledge will allow you to understand others and empathise. Take this scenario for example: If a little girl scratches your face, would you retaliate and hit her? Of course not! That is because you understand that children do not know better, and that perhaps she was only trying to show her affection towards you. Isn’t that worth being happy about, then? Therefore, there is no need to hit her back, on the contrary, you should kiss her and love her even more. Learning from this analogy, we realise that the same goes for our treatment of others.

A change in our mentality can spark a change in our outlook on the world.

  1. Nothing is too hard to endure!
  2. Nothing is too difficult to achieve!
  3. Have an open heart!
  4. Strive for what is worthy!
  5. Let your heart be as wide as the ocean!
  6. Be magnanimous!
  7. Never be lazy!
  8. Keep your promises!

Once you have attained this mindset, you will begin to change and a new life will be yours.

An admirable person is willing

to fight for what is truly precious.

Being able to sacrifice

everything for a worthy cause

is what differentiates a hero

from an ordinary person,

a successful person from a failure.