While it is important to win, it's even more important to remain undefeated no matter what happens.
If you hope for a peaceful death as the final summation of your life, live each and every day with vitality, never failing to take everything that happens as an opportunity to open and expand your inner life, exerting yourself to the fullest in the place you find yourself now.
If you lose today, win tomorrow. In this never-ending spirit of challenge is found the heart of a victor.
Being halfhearted is such a waste. If we go around as if we're half-asleep all the time, we can't hope to savor a life that is free of regret. Enthusiasm and vigor are vital ingredients for a fulfilling life.
Whether it be individuals, organizations, nations, civilizations, all forms of life in nature--for all entities in this universe, life is an ongoing challenge. In this struggle we find the essence and unchanging truth of life. When one stops challenging, decline begins.
Hardships make us strong. Problems give birth to wisdom. Sorrows cultivate compassion. Those who have suffered the most will become the happiest.
The struggle between happiness and unhappiness is the story of human existence. The struggle between peace and war is the history of the human race. The power that leads us to eternal victory amid these struggles is the power of good within us.
Life is the blossoming of flowers in the spring, the ripening of fruit in the fall, the rhythm of the earth and of nature. Life is the cry of cicadas signaling the end of summer, migratory birds winging south in a transparent autumn sky, fish frolicking in a stream. Life is the joy beautiful music instills in us, the thrilling sight of a mountain peak reddened by the rising sun, the myriad combinations and permutations of visible and invisible phenomena. Life is all things.
Of course, people want to live long. But in the end, what matters more is what we have been able to leave behind -- the value we have created in our lives, the number of people we have made happy and how much we have been able to grow and expand as a person.
Buddhism teaches that a single day of life is worth more than all the treasures of the universe.
Everyone born in this world has a unique role that only he or she can fulfill. Were this not the case, we would not be here. The universe never acts without cause; everything invariably has a reason for being. Even the weeds people love to loathe serve a purpose. I might add that every cherry blossom has its own personality, a purpose and meaning in life that is unique to it-as do the plum, peach and damson.
The course of our lives is determined by how we react--what we decide and what we do--at the darkest of times. The nature of that response determines a person's true worth and greatness.
When we are aware that each moment of each day, each gesture and step we take, is truly mystical and full of wonder, we will live our lives with greater thought and care. We will also have greater respect and appreciation for the lives of others.
Live in a way that is full of life... for yourself, for your loved ones, for your friends. People who do so will find the courage to transform sufferings into hopes. Not only that, but they will be able to light the lamp of hope in the hearts of many others, as well.
It would be pointless for a plum blossom to try to remake itself as a cherry blossom, no matter how deeply the plum yearns to do so. The plum is happiest when it blooms as itself in full glory. How much of the color and wonder of life would be lost if it weren't for our differences.
Whether in life or in a specific undertaking, there will undoubtedly be times when you achieve genuine progress, only to come up against a wall or feel yourself regressing. There will be times when you just need to stop and rest. Such are the vicissitudes inherent to any struggle. When you challenge to achieve something, be ready to face the unexpected.
Life may be more akin to a series of meets than a single marathon. You can lose a race here or there, as long as you win in one contest, in one area. All the struggles you endured will become a prized investment in your own person.
Human society can be full of contradictions. It can be unfair; unforgiving, too. Yet we cannot afford to dismiss it and turn our backs to the world. A person who does loses, and no excuse can gloss that over. Given a choice whether to sink or swim, we must swim to the very end, no matter how the seas around us may rage.