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10 Tips From the Dalai Lama to Stop Wasting Energy


Some of life’s most basic assumptions can be reimagined as a means to conserving energy.

In the Western imagination, the notion of energy is often associated with work. Science, in fact, defines energy as the capacity to perform a task or to work. In purely spiritual terms, the word energy can have other connotations: it can be the life impulse, or the Freudian libido, and more superficially, it can be the motivation that lets us perform our daily tasks.

On this very point of contact between our inner lives and the world, the Dalai Lama has spoken on the habits and daily activities that will drain and empty our potential until we’re exhausted without quite knowing why. These thieves of energy, these “vampires,” can include codependent relationships in which we feed each other based on unfair scales. But there are situations in life that also tend to drain our energy reserves, and we don’t always know how to deal with them.

From the most trivial matters (such as practically solving our financial problems) to the friendships that enslave us, the Dalai Lama offers ten points for cleansing and refining our relationships with ourselves and the world so our energy can be better used for more freedom.

  1. Let go of people who only share their complaints, problems, disasters, fear and judgments. If someone only needs a trash bin, don’t let it be your mind.
  2. Pay your bills on time. At the same time, if someone owes you but can’t pay, just let it go.
  3. Keep your promises. If you haven’t been keeping them, ask yourself why you offer such resistance. You always have the right to change your mind, to apologize, to compensate, to re-negotiate and to offer alternatives broken promises. But don’t make this your usual behavior. The easiest way to avoid failing to do something you don’t want to do, is to say no right from the beginning.
  4. Eliminate everything possible and delegate those tasks you prefer not to do. Then spend your time doing what you love doing.
  5. Give yourself permission to rest when you need to and permission to act when the time is right.
  6. Throw away, collect and organize. Nothing wastes more energy than messy places filled with things you no longer need.
  7. Prioritize your health. Without your body working in peak condition, you can’t do much. Take regular breaks.
  8. Confront any toxic situations you’ve been tolerating. From rescuing a friend or family member, to tolerating negative behaviors within couples or groups, take the necessary action.
  9. Acceptance is not resignation. But nothing costs energy like fighting against situations that can’t be changed.
  10. Forgive. Let go of situations that cause you pain. You can always choose to leave the pain of memories behind.


*Image: Adam Feuer – Flickr / Creative Commons 

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