“All of us want to be powerful and successful. But if our drive to get and maintain power drains us and strains our relationships, we never truly enjoy our professional or material success and it’s simply not worth it. Living our life deeply and with happiness, having time to care for our loved ones — this is another kind of success, another kind of power, and it is much more important …
Use your power wisely: Try these 5 commitments
- Protect the earth for our children and future generations.
- Reduce your meat intake by 50 percent, to lessen deforestation for cattle grazing.
- Have one carefree day a week.
- If you have children, try to work from home at least one day a week, so you can be with them more.
- Try to be mindful about how your consumption affects the earth and other people.
Source: From a September 2007 talk by Thich Nhat Hanh in Boulder, Colorado.
When we live without awareness, without the ability to truly see the world around us, our life is often like a runaway train. This is especially true of our professional life. If we are consumed by our jobs, we can’t stop running. When we suffer in our personal lives, our professional lives also suffer. When we suffer in our professional lives, our personal lives also suffer. Heavy workloads, un-realistic deadlines, difficult working conditions, constant stress, the fear of being fired — these all cause suffering at work, which then spills into the rest of our lives. And no one, it seems, can help us. But it doesn’t have to be that way. By cultivating our spiritual or true power and bringing mindfulness to our daily interactions, we can completely change the quality of our work as well as our work lives.”
—from Thich Nhat Hanh’s The Art of Power (HarperOne, 2007; used with permission).
Now in his ninth decade, THICH NHAT HANH is a world-renowned Zen master, peace and human rights activist, and bestselling author. Born in Vietnam in 1926 and ordained as a Buddhist monk at 16, Nhat Hanh was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1967 for his groundbreaking humanitarian work during the Vietnam War. Since 1973, he has lived in France, where he continues this work. To learn more, visit www.plumvillage.org.