Success, happiness and well-being
Success! Happiness! Well-being! without a doubt these
words are what every human being, both you and I would
like to use to describe our life, to describe our
future. We all want to be successful in our careers. We
want to lead happy lives. But the question is what
really makes us happy? What makes YOU happy?
Is it Money? Clothes? Vehicles? A luxury house? Good
food? Good Friends? Doesn’t that sound like a perfect
life? A successful life? A happy life? At a glance,
without deeper reflection one may think that it is these
material things that lead to a happy life. But do we
really know what makes us happy?
To figure out what makes us happy, or what made us
happy, let’s go back in time. Let’s go back to 10, 20,
30 or more years in our lives, to the day we were
Now imagine that after you were conceived, your mother
and father felt that they no longer wanted a child and
decided to do an abortion. Was this not possible? Today
thousands of babies are killed through abortions.
So what makes you think that YOU could not have been one
of those babies? Because of your accumulated merits,
your parents carefully protected you and brought you
into this world. Your parents gave you the chance to be
born and experience this world. As a result, today you
are a human being maybe 20, 30 or 40 years of age. You
had a longer life span than some babies. Isn’t that a
happy factor? If you died as a baby, could money,
clothes or vehicles bring you happiness?
Do you know why some human beings have long life spans
while others die so young? Our Great Teacher, The
Supreme Buddha, taught us that those who did not take
another’s life gain long life spans in their prospective
lives as a result of their wholesome actions. Hence, our
Great Teacher compassionately taught us not to kill any
Now that we are born and have been blessed with a long
life span, imagine this. Imagine that from the day you
were born, you are constantly sick.
If it’s not one illness, it is another. Do you think you
will be happy? You may be the richest person in town,
but if you are always sick, can you enjoy the luxuries
you have? Can you buy a healthy life with money?
Do you know the secret to having a healthy life? Our
Great Teacher revealed that secret. The Blessed One
taught us that those who do not harm other beings, in
turn receive healthy lives in their prospective lives.
Hence, our Great Teacher taught us to spread loving
kindness towards all beings and restraint from harming
Now imagine that you have a long and healthy life. But
what if you are poor? What if you have no facilities
around you? Have you noticed how some children do,
everything they would ever need and want is met. But for
others, poverty is all that they experience. Why is it
that some children have every luxury, while others have
nothing at all? Only a Supreme Being, the Knower of the
World would have the answer. Our Great Teacher, the
Supreme Buddha taught us that those who gave alms to
others experience the results of their actions by having
And those who did not steal from others, never loses the
wealth they have gained. Their property, their money is
not damaged or taken by others. This is the results of
wholesome actions. Hence, our Great Teacher taught us to
A long life, a healthy life, a wealthy life! Now isn’t
that a happy life? It will not be a happy life if this
one factor is missing. Which factor? Love! Have you seen
how some people lead sorrowful lives because they cannot
have the love that they desire? No matter how much they
try, they are not able to find that True Love in their
lives. Even within a family, we can see how this lack of
love causes sorrow and grief. Take a moment and look
Some families live happily, with love and compassion
towards each other. Yet, others live, with tears always
filled in their eyes, not a moment goes by without a
disagreement or a fight. Now imagine you were born into
such a family. You may have a long life, a healthy life
and wealthy life, but would you be happy knowing that
your parents are always fighting?
There’s not a moment of peace and calmness in your home.
Why is it so that some parents truly love each other,
while others fight, yell and deceive one another? A key
factor in a marriage is love between parents. If that
love is missing, then not only the parents, but also the
children suffer. Our Great Teacher the Supreme Buddha
taught us that one finds a faithful, loving and
committed spouse as a result of their past actions.
Those who did not engage in sexual misconduct, and those
who stayed faithful to their husbands and wives in their
past lives, in turn receive loving and faithful spouses
in their prospective lives. But those who engaged in
sexual misconduct in their past lives face results of
their unwholesome actions in their present or future
lives. Hence, our Great Teacher compassionately advised
us to restraint from engaging in sexual misconduct and
to cultivate love and faithfulness to one’s partner.
But have you seen, no matter how faithful a person
maybe, how trustworthy a person maybe, no one listens
and obey that person’s words. He may be speaking, but
others treat him as if he’s not. They do not respect or
believe his words. Do you know of such people? And do
you think that those who are like this are happy? Our
Great Teacher, the Supreme Buddha taught us that, this
is a result of one’s kamma. Those who lied to others,
those who deceived others using their words have to face
this as a result of their unwholesome actions.
If you would like for others to respect your words, to
listen and obey your words, then you must try to
restraint yourself from lying to others.
Are those the only key factors to a successful life?
Isn’t Beauty and Wisdom important factors to a happy
life? If we look into our own lives, we see that some
are truly beautiful and handsome, but others are not.
Some encompass such wisdom, but some do not. Our Great
Teacher taught us the secret to gaining these factors.
Those who did not get angry, those who spread loving
kindness towards others are born as beautiful beings in
their prospective lives as a result of their wholesome
actions. But those who were always angry, hateful,
holding onto the smallest conflict are born as
unattractive beings in their prospective lives. So, now
do you know the secret to beauty? It is not the most
expensive cosmetics that result in true beauty; the
secret is as simple as cultivating loving kindness
towards others which costs us zero dollars.
And finally, our Great Teacher taught us that wisdom is
also a result of one’s actions. Those who restrained
from taking intoxicating substances such as alcohol and
drugs, those who maintained mental awareness during
their lives are born as people with wisdom. Those who
engaged in wise consideration, contemplating and
reflecting on one’s life are born as wise people in
their prospective lives.
But those who take intoxicating substances, hoping to
forget their problems or hoping to move away from
reality to an altered state get exactly what they wanted
in their prospective lives also. These people are born
as people who lack wisdom, people who have mental
It is for these reasons, that our Supreme Teacher
compassionately taught us to practise virtue. Being
virtuous can help us gain a happy and successful life in
this ordinary world. If one develops one’s virtue,
without breaking a single precept, then it becomes a
factor that not only helps to gain a happy life, but it
also becomes a factor that helps us reach our ultimate
goal. The goal to reach the ultimate happiness, the
Supreme Bliss of Nibbana!
May you always be well and happy!
May the Noble Triple Gem bless you!