1. Humility

To be willing to learn from others.

The greatest obstacle to discovering the shape of the earth, the continents, and the oceans was not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge
–Daniel J. Boorstin
It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows
I never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him
–Galileo Galilei

When we have read a good deal of scientific books, we have to accept—like the authors have admitted—that science doesn’t have all the answers to this whole wide world and universe.

We, ourselves, should be open to the fact that we cannot be know-it-all.

Now, this does seem contradictory to the Principles guideline that we have talked about.

However, it is not. Staying true to your core and inner values represent the Principles.

You will sense when some influences are harmful to your inner core and stay away from them.

Being humble and learning from others’ viewpoints open a whole world of opportunities for you to explore.

During this discovery, you will very much learn more about yourself, the people around you, and some insights into the nature of things.

In this world:

The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of... We know the truth not only by the reason, but by the heart.
–Blaise Pascal

When we are saying no without first trying to understand something, we are at risk of discriminating that knowledge.

It is also not good when people cling on to their ideas too much that they become haughty.

They may be afraid of losing face. They may be afraid that the harmful influences may affect them.

Being humble, you detach yourself from the idea. You listen carefully. Freedom is what you get when all notions disperse into emptiness.

Cultivate a broad and spacious mind to listen and learn from all the people around us—from a professor in a prestigious university to a young entrepreneur trying to launch his company for the seventh time.

2. Contentment

To be satisfied with who you are and what you have right now.

If you don’t get everything you want, think of the things you don’t get that you don’t want”
–Oscar Wilde
Never let the things you want make you forget the things you have”
I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of, so they can see that it’s not the answer
–Jim Carrey

We are constantly being bombarded with marketing messages pulling and pushing us to cut our hair this way, dress ourselves this way, and upgrade to this optimal model for the best results.

Many may not realize this, but simple tools do the trick.

I am happy when I do my hair this way. I am satisfied with the outfit that I have. I am happy with the people in my lives for all their beauties and flaws.

Simply, I am content.

With one simple pencil, you can create a whole masterpiece.

When the journey is about to end and when you look back, will you feel proud and full of meaning?

Let me feel proud when it’s over.

Many people say that we don’t treasure something or know its value until we lose it.

Be not that person.

Treasure what you have right now. At least you have something.

Having a lot of stuff doesn’t always mean our lives will be improved or that we will feel happier.

It is until you find happiness in your true home inside that everything else will fit into place.

You will be able to resist the urge, “Nah, I don’t really need it.”

This is a minimalist lifestyle many people have been following.

Not only does it declutter their lives, it makes them understand much clearer what they truly need and what they can totally live without.

Other simple, sort of, “brain hacks” to overcome these impulsive thoughts are:

What’s the point of taking it home and not use it? An object can only deliver real value when it is used.

When you are happy using it, the object is happy to be able to serve you and be part of your life.

Otherwise, it is meant for someone else to get a more meaningful relationship with it. Let go.

It is not anything complicated that Denmark is reported to be the happiest country in the world.

When asked how, they just simply reply, “We expect it to rain and instead it is sunny, we are happy”, and continue to enjoy their picnic outdoor happily.

3. Respect

To honor other people with deep understanding, insights, and experience.

Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping him up
–Jesse Jackson
Listen to your elder’s advice not because they are right but because they have more experience being wrong
No strength within, no respect without
–Kashmiri proverb

Respect refers to our capacity to honor other people with deep insights and experience in many other fields that we ourselves have not explored that much yet.

Or people within our fields who have been there much longer than us.

We are advised to listen to them not necessarily because they are right, but because they have more experience and knowledge of what didn’t work.

On a cultural perspective, respect also means listening to and acknowledging the differences in different cultures.

The four friends, a monkey, a bird, a rabbit, and an elephant can reach the highest fruits on the trees if they respect each other differences and work with each other.

The elephant, representing the elder, is a base for the other ones to stand on.

Respect not only comes from honoring someone’s technical skills, more often it comes from honoring someone’s inner core values.

A single parent working two or three jobs to raise her kids with her whole heart and determination. That is respected.

A grandma or grandpa trying to learn new things like a song, how to use the computer, how to text, etc. despite their memory condition also deserves respect.

We do need to acknowledge that experience or knowledge does not always come with age.

There are elders who cannot totally control themselves at all times and may not develop compassion toward other people.

We can find many examples of those with racism, homophobia, violence, etc.

In these cases, as always, we take some deep breaths and try to understand the person from their standpoint before judging anything.

4. Delight

To be happy when good fortune comes to other people.

Taught by time, my heart has learned to glow for others’ good, and melt at others’ woe
To be rich in admiration and free from envy, to rejoice greatly in the good of others – these are the gifts which money cannot buy
–Robert Louis Stevenson
If I am only happy for myself, many fewer chances for happiness. If I am happy when good things happen to other people, billions more chances to be happy
–The Dalai Lama

Envy is a poison; it will weaken us and our heart.

In reality, we see envy everywhere.

When someone has a better job, we feel envious.

When someone gets more attention, we feel like we are not good enough.

It can be very hard to be happy for the good of other people.

But it is possible.

Truly know yourself and what you want is the anecdote.

We hear about success, fame, luck, big houses, fast cars, but what do they mean to us.

When you put these abstract ideas into concrete terms with meaning for you, you can get a more solid picture of what you want and what you don’t need.

For example, happiness for me is being with my loved ones, smiling everyday, walking to maintain my good health, and so on.

Alright, maybe someone make more money than we do, but what we have now is enough for us. That is what we want, and it makes our world happy.

When you know what you need, you don’t need to keep up with the Jones or Kardashians anymore.

Also, you can be happy when good things happen to other people.

Maybe your friend just got a new job that she had been looking for for a long time.

It could help her family with little kids get better healthcare, more fun time together, and a better place to live.

For ourselves, those are the things that we would generally want for our families. That’s why it is very easy to relate to.

When a person gets this prize or that position, we may think that person doesn’t deserve it.

It is our impression and we don’t really know how much they have worked or lost to get to that point.

Time will be the best proof of whether that person is genuine or not.

Success cannot be looked at for one or two days.

5. Kindness

Being caring, friendly, and considerate.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel
–Maya Angelou
Whenever possible, be kind. It is always possible
–The Dalai Lama
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted

Being kind toward other people doesn’t have to be anything grand.

Small acts count as kindness.

You may be helping a friend pick up someone or something at the store, airport, or restaurant.

It may just be helping someone with a heavy luggage.

One of the hardest forms of kindness is toward people who have hurt us verbally or physically in some way.

This is where compassion can help.

Behind every person, there is a story. In that story, there may be struggles just like everyone else.

When we see and understand that the people who have hurt us have been hurt as well, we can develop some sort of compassionate understanding.

They are having the same struggles as anyone else.

That makes it somewhat easier to not pay them back with punishment, which just add fuel to the fire.

Another form of kindness is the kindness to yourself.

Many people neglect to take good care of themselves.

Their legs are tired, their eyes are tired, their arms are sore.

Whenever possible, be kind to yourself as well.

All of your body have worked so hard to get you what you want.

Take a moment to relax and reconnect with your natural goodness.

Remember even the smallest act of kindness can make a big difference in unexpected ways.

What small act can you do to make your or someone’s day better today?

6. Service

Helping and benefiting other people in ways that we can.

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”
–Mahatma Gandhi
Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world”
–Desmond Tutu
Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you”
–Mother Teresa

While the word “service” can seem daunting, the act of it is not.

The question is: Will we find satisfaction and meaning if we spend our entire lives just pursuing what personally pleases and comforts us?

Being of service to someone else means just helping them in whatever ways you can.

The numbers don’t have to be big. It can be as small as 1, 2, 3.

A starting step can be helping someone who is closest to you.

The goodness, then, will ripple out.

Take a deep breath and imagine a gold light shining out at the center of your chest.

That warm light is your willingness to serve others. It extends outward to your whole body, embracing everyone else the light touches.

Bathing in this warm and caring light, as each is always helping the other, we experience harmony, joy, and happiness in the world.

7. Loyalty

Being good-hearted and reliable in your relationships.

Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.
–Oprah Winfrey
It’s the friends you can call up at 4 am that matter
–Marlene Dietrich
A promise is a cloud; fulfillment is rain
–Arabian proverb

Loyalty is something rather rare in this fast-paced world of ours.

At its core, loyalty means standing up to someone whatever the circumstances, whatever the personal risks and discomfort.

This is the conundrum that has baffled so many people in the world: to involve ourselves or not to involve ourselves.

How can we be there for others when things fall apart?

So many times, people will choose to turn away from us when situations turn sour.

Because it involves personal risks for them and their families, which nobody wants.

It is at those challenging moments that we see who are truly loyal to us.

If partner is fine with eating oyster or lobster at a 5-star restaurant with us and is still willing to eat street food or McDonald’s with us when things go wrong, they are the ones to keep.

Why do they choose to stay?

It must also be how you have been treating them when things go well.

Loyalty is like a muscle that gets strengthen the more you practice it.

Be confident of your capacity for loyalty to your families, friends and your wider circle of people.

8. Aspiration

A fulfilling way of life that avoids causing harm to anything or anyone.

To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to”
–Khalil Gibran
I’ve often said the only thing standing between me and greatness is me”
–Woody Allen
Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you”
–Maori proverb

To live the most meaningful life possible with our limited time on Earth, we ought to seek something higher than just the practical, monetary means.

Is there something that you would love to contribute your effort to help better?

Maybe something that you would like to share?

Aspiration and inspiration are always the great drive for us to do something more impactful and meaningful in our lives.

The only thing that is standing in our way?

Probably ourselves.

Our doubts, fears, etc.

When we aspire to do something, we need to set every fear or doubt aside, and just do it.

Also, we have to find ways to achieve them without causing any harm to other people along the way.

While this may not always be 100% attainable because we may not be aware that we are harming others, we should, with our best intents, minimize any chances that could hurt other people or things.