Have you ever heard of the ten perfections?
The ten perfections are Buddhist teachings that delineate the characteristic traits of enlightened beings. It is said that they are universally important to conducting a happy and compassionate life. Even though this philosophy comes from the Buddhist religion, every single person on Earth should adopt it and strive to be better people by perfecting each of the following ten traits:
Generosity, morality, renunciation, wisdom, energy, patience, truthfulness, resolution, kindness, and equanimity.
Every parent wants their child to be enlightened beings who are generous, moral, free from desires, wise, persistent, patient, honest, proactive, kind, and at peace with themselves. What better way to instill those traits into our children than to teach them the ten perfections of Buddhism through pertinent life lessons?
With that in mind, I put together a list of 20 life lessons every child should learn before venturing out into the real world.
The best gift you can give to someone is your time.
The true meaning of generosity is to give your time. It’s a selfless gift because your time is a portion of your life you’ll never get back. Instead of throwing money at a charity, take the time to volunteer. Instead of giving your grandmother a quick phone call to wish her a happy birthday, take the time to bake a cake and bring it to her house. Instead of dropping your kids off at a friend’s, take them to an arcade and play video games with them.
If you want to receive, give.
Many like to believe that humans are inherently selfish. As nice as it would be to receive everything in life without ever having to give anything back, it doesn’t work that way. Everyone needs to learn the art of reciprocation. Being a taker won’t get you anywhere, while being a giver will take you plenty of places.
Be more concerned with your character than your reputation.
Your reputation is merely what other people think of you while your character is really who you are. Having a bad reputation means nothing as long as your character is genuinely good, because only it can define you. This also works the other way around: if you have a great reputation, but if your integrity disappears behind closed doors, you’re not really a good person after all.
Judging a person does not define who he is. It defines who you are.
We all know how wrong it is to judge others, but very few of us realize how much judging others actually reflects on our own personality. Always remember this whenever you feel tempted to point out someone else’s flaws.
Always surround yourself with good people.
People with big hearts and good souls are contagious. If you hang around good people, you’ll be more optimistic, driven, and compelled to be kind to others. Also, good people will love you for who you are and support you in the good and bad times.
The true key to happiness is to be grateful for what you already have.
If you count your blessings instead of yearning for what you don’t have, you’ll feel a greater sense of contentment. Those who are truly happy in life make the best of everything they have.
Will this problem matter a year from now?
Whenever you run into a problem, ask yourself if it will matter tomorrow, next week, or a year from now. It’s a way of reminding yourself how trivial the problem really is. It also shows you that it will always get better. It’s an especially good lesson to teach bullied kids because no matter how miserable and hurt they feel right now, they have a whole future ahead of them that holds beautiful and amazing things. It will get better.
Great minds discuss ideas.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Small minds discuss people. Average minds discuss events. Great minds discuss ideas.” Don’t waste your beautiful mind on gossip or events. Use it to conjure up great ideas!
Never give up.
This saying gets tossed around a lot, but it’s actually solid advice everyone should follow. Just because something didn’t go the way you wanted doesn’t mean you should give up at the drop of a hat. Be persistent; it will pay off in the end.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
The late Randy Pausch said it best in The Last Lecture, “Sometimes all you have to do is ask, and it can lead to all your dreams coming true.” If you want to succeed in life and business, you must learn the art of asking. It’s simpler than you think.
All great achievements require time.
Those who say patience is a virtue are right. No one succeeds overnight. If you work hard and keep your eye on the goal, you will see results after some time.
Two things matter: honesty and respect.
The foundation of any relationship is honesty and respect. Always be honest, and treat your colleagues, family members, significant other, friends, and even strangers with respect. If you neglect to do either, your character will suffer, and you will be left with very little to stand for.
If you do not step forward, you will always be in the same place.
If you want to achieve a goal, be proactive about it. There’s no use in sitting around dreaming about it. If you’re unhappy with your job, your living arrangements, your relationships, or where you are in life, do something about it. Get up and step forward.
It’s okay to make mistakes.
No one is perfect. You’re expected to make mistakes. What matters is how you react to those mistakes. Acknowledge your mistakes, fix them, learn from them, and move on. It’s the only way to improve.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
We’re only human, and we have our own struggles. Try to remember this before you cast the first stone.
Think before you speak.
We all regret something we’ve said in the past. Contrary to the popular belief that, like sticks and stones, words can indeed hurt. A lot. Words are more powerful than you think. Use them wisely.
Always take your vacation.
Don’t wait to live your life. Enjoy it now!
If you care about what other people think, you will always be their prisoner.
When Lao Tzu uttered those famous words, he was spot on. Don’t spend your life worrying about what others think. Do what you please, and you’ll be free as a bird.
Happiness comes from within.
Never rely your happiness on external factors, may it be your material possessions, your financial status, your job, or other people, because you’ll never be truly happy. Once you recognize that happiness comes from within, you’ll find enlightenment.
Be true to yourself.
This may seem like such a cliché phrase, but it’s actually good advice. Being true to yourself means acting in accordance with who you are and what you believe in. Don’t let anyone control your fate. Being true to yourself is probably the best favor you can ever do for yourself.