Ryuho Okawa is a World Teacher, a renowned spiritual leader, and international best-selling author with a simple goal: to help people find their inner light to bring happiness to the world. Since attaining great enlightenment, he has written over 3,000 titles, revealing answers to life’s most fundamental questions and today’s most pressing global issues. His aim is to foster understanding by filling the missing pieces between differing views, values and beliefs.
To date, Okawa’s books have sold over 100 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 40 languages. There are books on Buddhism & Enlightenment, The Laws Series, Religion & Spirituality, Self-Help & Happiness, Health & Wellness, Success & Prosperity, Spiritual Messages & Interviews, Predictions & Viewings, The Laws of the Universe, Politics & Social Issues, Higher Education, and History. Explore more at www.okawabooks.com
A Compass for Life
With a publication collection of over 3000 books across a diversity of fields, here we present A Compass for Life by Ryuho Okawa – a look into the great wisdom and love within the pages of his many books in the form of a question and answer. This month’s book is The Art of Influence, 28 Ways to Win People’s Hearts and Bring Positive Change to Your Life. The Question and Answer is from Chapter One, How to Build Mental Toughness, Part 1, The Art of Mastering Relationships.
How can I be more open to other people’s advice and opinions?
The ability to open your mind to other people’s advice and opinions is important. My first recommendation is to ensure that you are willing to learn from others, because a lack of a desire to learn from others is what prevents you from listening to their advice. If you have the habit of tuning out other people’s advice, it’s often because your strong but unrecognized egotism and pride are leading you to resist other people’s opinions.
So cultivating a wish to learn from others is the first necessary step. If you find that you’re eager to learn from others, them my second recommendation is to look at the positive aspects rather than the negative aspects of those who come to you with their advice. Their social status, gender, and age shouldn’t make a difference in how you receive their opinions.
Many precious life lessons may slip through your fingers if you allow your prejudices to close your off to those who have less wealth, status, or education than others; those who are younger; or those with other types of attributes. If you allow someone’s impressive position or status or the lack of those things to determine whom you choose to lend your ears to, you’ll limit the wealth of learning opportunities available to you in life. This is why it’s crucial to cultivate a wish to learn from anyone and everyone who offers positive seeds to nourish your soul. If you’re truly determined to learn from others, you should earnestly learn from their perspectives to gain valuable lessons from them.
Share with others the beneficial advice you’ve received in the past.
My third piece of advice is to not let yourself disregard other people’s advice sand suggestions, and instead find a way to incorporate it into your day-to-day life. And a forth important thing you can do is share with others the beneficial advice that you’ve received in the past. There are many things about ourselves that we don’t notice, so by listening to other’s advice, we may find opportunities that dramatically shift the course of our lives. If someone you know is suffering from a problem like one you’ve faced before, the tried and tested advice that helped you may benefit this person. Sharing your wisdom with others in this way lets you act with true selfless compassion and practice a great human virtue.
We need to learn to distinguish between what we do have control over from what we don’t.
Let me tell you about a time in my life when listening to someone’s advice helped me. When I was working in the corporate world, someone once said something to me that taught me a valuable lesson. There may be things in life that we can control, but there are also things in life that lie beyond our power to change.
This is what the person said to me: “Is the problem that’s on your mind right now an issue that lies within or outside you control? An issue that’s within your power to change certainly deserves your best effort. But if you find that there’s nothing within your power that can help, then there are times when you’ll need to acknowledge that it’s beyond your control and let the problem pass.”
This advice taught me an important, new mindset. Many of us spend much of our lives dwelling on problems we have no control over, while we neglect problems that our efforts can help solve. What can we possibly achieve in life we keep trying to solve problems that we have no power over? We need to learn to distinguish between what we do have control over from what we don’t and to put the latter aside.
This is why I have taught myself to follow these steps when I am forced with life’s issues; First, I determine which things are within my power to change, and then I try to solve the problems by improving myself. Then, with respect to things that lie outside my own control, I learn as much as I can from them and then set them aside, at least for the time being. Some of them will resolve over time, and others may not. Whatever the outcomes, this is how I’ve learned to look at my issues. And this is one way of thinking that has helped my lead a successful life.
Our own emotions are fully within our power to control.
Other people’s feelings are a prime example of things that lie beyond our individual power to control. No matter what we do, we can’t change the feelings that other people experience. The best we can do is offer them our advice, but we can’t always make them change things about themselves. In contrast, own own emotions are fully within our control. Even in the middle of an argument with a friend, your thoughts and feelings are always open to your choices.
Even in a heated argument, it’s up to the free will of none others than yourself to decide how you think and feel about your friend. Do you wish to spend ten years harboring resentment in your heart and speaking ill words about your friend? Or do you wish to forgive and forget the argument the next day? It’s completely up to you.
So when you’ve finished telling you friend everything there is to tell, and you’re certain that there’s nothing else you can possibly do or say to help, you need to believe in the power of your words to nourish your friend’s soul and eventually bring him or her to the positive path. What’s important is that you become the master of your own thoughts and emotions.
The more your store of inner wisdom is allowed to develop, the more extraordinary your character will become.
I’ve now discussed four points that will help you open your mind to other people’s advice and opinions, to which I would like to add an additional point. When you practice the advice you receive, find it beneficial, and then share with others this wisdom you’ve gained, you gain an additional learning experience to add to the store of the wisdom within your soul. In the end, the more your store of inner wisdom is allowed to develop, the more extraordinary your character will become.