I remember a philosopher and philanthropist colleague once saying, “You either get it or you don’t”. I wasn’t sure what he meant initially and he went on to explain that he believes that there are wise souls on Earth. They are the ones that can rise above the superficial and trivialities. People with ‘bigger picture’ vision. These are the people that can lead but that have a purpose and a goodness about them. They are concerned with the greater good.
The Dalai Llama
One example I can personally think of is the Dalai Llama. He is able to see past the day to day nonsense, to the patterns in the microcosms that tell us a more important story. What story I hear you ask..well, a story about meaning. Something that goes beyond what you see before you. A higher vision of why we are here, what it’s all about and what brings true fulfilment.
This got me thinking and I decided to write a list of characteristics that I think encapsulate someone who “gets it”… feel free to add your own in the comments section below!
People That “Get It” are aware of the following:
1) Money is not the answer. It provides freedom and choice but apart from that it is not the cure-all that many think it is. Those who have never had a lot of money find it easy to assume that money provides what they lack. Once you have money though, you just worry and think about other things. Money seriously lacks clout when it comes to inner peace and fulfilment, love and attitude.
2) Friends, family and experiences are where it’s at. Possessions give us a thrill but the emotion is short-lived and then we go back to default. Family, friends and experiences provide memories and a sense of feeling connected. Of not being alone. This is worth gold.
3) Uncertainty is a natural part of life and there is no point resisting it. Learning to tolerate uncertainty is a huge mental strength. Resisting uncertainty and trying to fool yourself into thinking you can control life by worrying or planning ahead is nonsense. Be flexible and adaptable and always remind yourself you will deal with whatever comes your way in life.
4) “Us and Them” thinking creates barriers and boundaries and erects blocks to solidarity. We all have to share this planet and people that “get it” are tolerant of others, especially those that differ in their beliefs regarding politics, religion and race.
5) Your attitude is the largest, most important influence over your life. It determines your perceptions and the nature/tone of the stories and beliefs you tell yourself about the world around you. What is true for you? Whether it is realistic and rational or not, your beliefs and attitudes will be the number one decider in the quality of your life overall.
6) Happiness is a choice. Right here right now you can choose to be mad at the world or you can choose to talk to yourself in a soothing way that lightens up your mood. Don’t put life on hold until you have that extra money or that long-awaited love interest you’ve been searching for. You do not need these to be complete. See them as a bonus not a necessity.
7) Understand the difference between what can be changed and what can’t be changed. People that “get it” don’t waste time fretting over things they cannot do anything about. It is merely mental torture without any reward.
8) People that “get it” are true to themselves. They honour their own ideas and their unique visions for the life they want. They are rarely pressured into pleasing others for the sake of keeping the peace. They live by healthy values as much as possible eg. honesty, integrity, kindness. This is constantly a ‘work in progress’ as we all make mistakes but they have a clear sense of purpose and a strong idea of how they wish to conduct themselves in life. They do not stray from their values just to fit in or be popular.
9) They take responsibility – no blaming and shaming going on here. They accept they are human and make mistakes but they are kind to themselves and give themselves time out from the demands of life without feeling guilty. It is society that doesn’t want us to be selfish, everyone wants us to meet their needs. You can only do this once you have met your own needs. Then you will give freely without resentment.
Look past the immediate and try not to get caught up in the small time politics of daily life. See the bigger picture and always try to live a life that you can be proud of. Do the right thing, be kind to others and find meaning and purpose in your life. When you stand on your own two feet it can be scary but it is also very liberating to know that you have choices and far more freedom than you ever realised to create and design the life you want.
Dalai Lama Quotes:
There is only one important point you must keep in your mind and let it be your guide. No matter what people call you, you are just who you are. Keep to this truth. You must ask yourself how is it you want to live your life. We live and we die, this is the truth that we can only face alone. No one can help us, not even the Buddha. So consider carefully, what prevents you from living the way you want to live your life?
Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.
Inner peace is the key: if you have inner peace, the external problems do not affect your deep sense of peace and tranquility without this inner peace, no matter how comfortable your life is materially, you may still be worried, disturbed, or unhappy because of circumstances.