I'm currently reading a great book by Geshe Michael Roach called The Diamond Cutter. With stories from his life working in the jewelry trade, I am easily able to relate with him. What has been most fascinating is the Buddha's advice on how to manage your personal and professional life.
I'm not going to review the book, but I've come across several profound comments so far that I feel are worthwhile to share here, as they have gotten me thinking at length. In fact, I have trouble bringing my mind away from the concepts.
For starters; that everything that we perceive is not coming from an outside source, but rather, from ourselves. At least that is what I've taken away from it. The book uses the example of someone who is irritating to us but may be caring and lovable to another. Something in our past has triggered us to think of this person as irritating, but what?
I'm not sure I can answer that fully...yet.
There is also a scenario of being around people who always seem to be fighting with one another. The solution is not to go to them, rather avoid these situations, whether or not you are involved, or just a spectator. I have allowed this experience into my world and the only way to fix it, is to fix myself. The key is to break the cycle...do not respond to negativity with negativity.
Just halfway through the book, I am beginning to realized that all of my complications, and joys are solely my doing. I am the only person to blame for my unhappiness, and the only one who can make myself happy.
Kind of a big pill to swallow.