How to Be Calm in a Busy World

The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to Be Calm in a Busy World by HAEMIN SUNIM, 2017

A lot of insightful wisdom with honorable principles you can bring with you for a more fulfilling life.

1 Feb 2020

The world isn’t inherently joyful or sad; it just is.

When we look at the outside world, we are looking at only a small part that interests us. The world we see is not the entire universe but a limited one that the mind cares about. However, to our minds, that small world is the entire universe.

We neither can nor want to know every single thing that happens in the world. If we did, we would go crazy from the overload of information

Given that the world we see through our mind’s eye is limited, if we can train our mind and choose wisely where to focus, then we will be able to experience the world corresponding to the state of our mind.

When you have an unpleasant feeling, don’t grab hold of it and turn it over and over. Instead, leave it alone so it can flow. The wave of emotion will naturally recede on its own as long as you don’t feed it by dwelling on it.

When you leave work for the day, if you find yourself asking, “Do I have to live my whole life like this?” Then try the following: Wake up a little earlier the next morning, and sit in silence, as if in meditation. Breathe in deeply and slowly, and ask yourself how your work is helping others, regardless of how insignificantly or indirectly. As you focus more on others, you can reconnect with the meaning and purpose of your work.

Life teaches us through our mistakes. When you make a mistake, simply ask yourself what you were meant to learn from it. When we accept such lessons with humility and gratitude, we grow that much more.

To be happy, it’s not necessary to expend great effort so we get somewhere else. Instead, relax into the present moment while finding humor in your life. With humor, life becomes light and leisurely.

Those who work in a playful, relaxed manner tend to work efficiently and creatively. Those who work nonstop, driven only by stress, work without joy.

To keep doing your work for a long time, do not treat it as just work. View it as a source of enjoyment and growth. The road to happiness lies not just in finding a good job, but also in learning to enjoy what you are asked to do.

Would you like to make your child happy? Then get off work a little early today. Wait for your child in front of school. Horse around together on the playground. Let your child choose where to go for dinner. And shower your child with your loving attention. On your way home, pick up ice cream for the family. Your child will remember this day forever.

Do you have something on your mind? Then take a walk in the sun. Under the warmth of the sun, your brain will release serotonin, which calms the mind. If you let your mind linger on the question without trying too hard to find the solution, an answer will emerge on its own.

If you genuinely care for others and look for ways to help others succeed, you won’t need to look for ways to boost your mood. A selfless and kind act will lift your spirit and self-worth. If you are having a bad day, see if you can find a way to help someone else. Even a small gesture of help will make you feel better.

If you want revenge because your feelings are hurt, all you can see is your own suffering. But if you calm yourself and look more deeply, you will see that the person who hurt you is suffering, too.

When people who don’t know you well admire you, they are seeing their projected illusion, not your real self. In contrast, when people who know you well respect you, it is probably because you deserve it.

Your boss asks you to run an errand that has little to do with your job. Rather than getting annoyed, just do it and let it go. Do not turn something trivial into a major source of agony by wasting time and energy thinking about it endlessly.

How can you tell if someone is truly enlightened? Shower him with both praise and criticism. If he shows signs of being susceptible to either, then it means he has forgotten his enlightened nature.

Everything in this universe is evanescent. Because it is evanescent, it is also precious. Spend this precious moment wisely and beautifully.

If you want to predict how a politician will act after winning an election, look at how he currently lives and how he has behaved in the past. A person does not live the way he says he would. He lives the way he has been living.

When hiring, look beyond skills and experience to see if the candidate knows how to enjoy her job. People who enjoy their work are usually more successful than those who don’t.

Someone thinks, “I’ll study hard so I can get into a prestigious college.” Someone else thinks, “I’ll study hard so I can teach my sister, who cannot attend school because my family cannot afford to send her.” Although they both have the same determination to study hard, their motivations are quite different. A vow to help others can summon immense energy from within. This is why people take the Bodhisattva vows to save all sentient beings before embarking on a journey of spiritual enlightenment.

Are you trying to get closer to someone? Is it because you want something from him? If you wish to be truly close, then discard your ulterior motives. When you are genuinely kind, without an agenda, then others will more readily open up to you.

We must ask whether it was worthwhile if we make each other feel unhappy or hurt in the name of defending our beliefs. Instead of maintaining the sanctity of our values, shouldn’t we care more about the person sitting in front of us? Isn’t it better to be happy together than to be right alone?

If you get angry while debating right and wrong, your enraged voice has just conceded defeat.

Criticism without a solution is merely an inflation of the critic’s ego.

A powerful person is often surrounded by only yes-men, helping their boss feel important and exceptional. If the people around you always agree with you, they are probably opportunists, not loyalists.

When you ask a question and there is no response, then that is the answer.

If someone looks perfect, then that is because you don’t know the person very well.

Do you want to be happy, or do you want to appear happy? Never mind what the world tells you to do to be happy. Be truthful to yourself and discover what you really want.

There are those who want to become successful in order to thumb their noses at the people who looked down on them. But what happens after you achieve success? What do you do after proving that they were wrong? If you want to truly succeed, don’t use anyone else’s yardstick.

Professionals have their talents and areas of expertise. If a client tries to control and monitor every detail, the professional cannot work at full capacity and feels inhibited. If you want the best result, watch with interest but know when to back off.

A veteran doctor, lawyer, or accountant won’t necessarily provide better service than the passionate young professional who has been in the field only a few years. The amount of attention you get is often more important than the professional’s illustrious career history.

No matter how well we get along with someone, if we stick too close without building in some personal space, we soon feel trapped and burned out; it is easy to take the relationship for granted and feel resentful about not having enough privacy and independence. On the other hand, if we put in too little effort to stay in touch with friends and family, we can’t feel the warmth of their love. Striking a balance is key.

If you think you are either superior or inferior to someone, an invisible wall goes up between you. Treat him like an old friend you haven’t seen in a while. When you let your guard down, so will he.

You know why that conversation is so boring? Because we are trapped in politeness, unable to speak from the heart. Any conversation can become interesting and lively as soon as we start speaking with real honesty.

People say hurtful things because they themselves have been hurt. When you encounter someone prickly and malicious, think about what kind of miserable situation he must be in. If he is too much, and you don’t have time, just whisper, “Bless you,” and move on.

If we help someone in the hope of getting something in return, this is not giving but lending. True giving is done without expecting anything in return. It also means we relinquish control over what we have given.

If you try to lead people only by stressing rules and principles, they will leave you, one by one. A good leader knows this, and thus tries to cultivate virtue.

When we hate someone, we think about him a lot. Unable to let him go, we gradually begin to act like him. Don’t let him become a long-term tenant of the heart. Evict him right away with a notice of forgiveness.

The more you try to change your spouse, children, or friends, the more difficult and strained your relationships become. People do not change easily, unless they suffer tremendous hardship or have a life-altering experience.

When you think your spouse won’t change and you worry how you will live the rest of your life together, ask yourself: Am I perfect in my spouse’s eyes?

If you look for love, in pursuit of what it can give you, it will hide itself. If you ask love to arrive because you are now ready, it will skip your door.

If you attempt to find a love that meets certain criteria, your new love may also make certain demands of you. Drop your demands quickly when love knocks on your door.

Love means loving someone the way she is. Wanting her to be a certain way is not love but your desire. Do not attempt to improve someone in the name of love. It is improvement only in your eyes, not in hers.

If you envy someone’s life, remember the pizza in the ad. It always looks better than it is.

Where you live shapes you. Do you live in a place conducive to the pursuit of your dreams?

We don’t think twice about spending nine or ten dollars on a glass of wine. And yet we hesitate when it comes to buying a book, which is the price of only one or two glasses of wine.

When there is a problem, take it up with the person who is responsible. If you address it in a roundabout way, through other people, out of fear of upsetting the person and your relationship, then the problem becomes more complicated. Go straight to the source and deal with the person directly, even if this makes you uncomfortable.

When someone does not like us, it is not our problem but theirs. Not everyone will like us. This is a problem only if we let it bother us.

By complaining that something we have to do is too hard, we add another layer of difficulty. Take a deep breath, and then just do it.

You can fool someone for a moment, but it is hard to fool someone for long. Time will tell if someone has spoken from the heart or made things up to get what he wanted. Even if he got what he wanted with a momentary lie, the fact that he lied will stay with him until the day he dies.

A cruel irony: The reward for someone who works hard is more work.

If we’re quick to grant a favor, then people quickly forget their gratitude. If we grant a favor with several conditions, then people express immense gratitude.

Some say they don’t really know what they are looking for in life. This might be because, instead of getting in touch with how they feel, they have led their lives according to other people’s expectations. Live your life not to satisfy others, but to fulfill what your heart desires.

If you are raising a child, then remember this: It is okay for your child to do well in one area and not so well in others.

Instead of building up a résumé only to land a job, enjoy the process of learning something new. Don’t do it just for the end. Delight in the means, too.

There is no such thing as being completely prepared. Life is an adventure, through which we learn and mature. Of course, we must consider all our options carefully. But if we wait for 100 percent certainty, then it is often too late.

Establish a goal for the week. There is a big difference between having a goal and not having one. A significant accomplishment can be traced back to a single thought.

Do not select your career based on what others will think of your choice. The truth is that other people do not really think about you that much. If you think you will enjoy something, then do not overthink it. Just do.

When you look for a job, try to find out how long a company’s employees stay at the company. This is more important than the size of the company or the salary offered. If people keep leaving, then that says a lot.

A wise leader doesn’t assemble a team of only those who agree with him. He needs someone who disagrees with him, to allow him to see his blind spots.

Dedication to one’s job should not be measured by how late one works or how often one forgoes a vacation but by how effectively one works and what kind of contribution one makes to the business.

Your freedom is more important than money. It is better to live the kind of life you want than to earn more and be constrained. Don’t sell your freedom.

If you have developed critical intelligence but neglected emotional intelligence, then you may not be sensitive to the suffering of others. If you have developed emotional intelligence but neglected spiritual intelligence, then you may lose hope after seeing the world’s suffering.

When an unenlightened person does good, he tries to leave his mark. When an enlightened person does good, he leaves no marks.