Great masters say that our life is a reflection of our own thoughts and actions and I think it makes a lot of sense. It’s true that what and how we think today defines who we are tomorrow. This is called Tha-Damtshi Lejungdrey in Buddhism and this explains how our life revolves around our Karmic actions. When I was in school, our Dzongkha Lopoens used to tell us that we can harvest only what we have planted. We cannot expect to harvest corns from a paddy plant or vice-versa. In Bhutan, we all believe that if we focus on good deeds, the reward will naturally be positive. But if you engage in sinful and unhelpful acts, the brunt of the consequences falls back on you only. If we have to blame anybody for our failures and sufferings, it must be ourselves, not anybody else, because what we are today is the product of our own actions and thoughts. Both our happiness and sadness depend on how we look at life and the world around us. We say that man is the maker of his own destiny because our life is in our hands and we have all the freedom to take it forward in any direction we wish. Have you ever heard the story of a house with a thousand mirrors? I have summarized it below to illustrate what I have stated above.
Once upon a time in a remote village, there was a special house called The House with Thousand Mirrors because it had one thousand mirrors hanging from its walls. It was a popular destination for visitors and tourists. One day, a dog accidentally arrived at the house. When he entered the house and saw the extraordinary beauty of the house, he was so happy and excited that he jumped up and down wagging his tail. Just then, he saw the other one thousand equally excited and happy dogs jumping like him on the walls. He was so happy to find one thousand new friends and he had a lot of fun for a long time. Since then, he frequently returned to the house to enjoy the company of his new friends. The house gave him more happiness and contentment.
One day the dog met another dog on the way and when he told him about his lovely friends in the House with Thousand Mirrors, the second dog became so jealous and angry. The second dog then decided to visit the house to see the other thousand dogs. When he entered the house with a furious face, he saw one thousand dogs on the walls that were equally furious. He was angrier to see so many dogs looking at him with angry faces. He barked at them and they also barked back at him. He was so infuriated that he growled and barked until he was too exhausted. At the end of the day, he had to leave the house more angry and frustrated than he had come at the beginning. He never came back to the house while the happy dog always came back and enjoyed his life in the house.
While this is just a story, it resonates a lot with our day-to-day life. A person with positive thoughts will always look at things positively whereas a person with negative perception will never find happiness in whatever he looks at. There is another famous story about two marketing representatives of a shoe factory from Great Britain who were sent to Africa to study the scope of their business. The one with a negative attitude reported “We have no scope at all here because nobody wears shoes”. But the other representative reported from the same location “We have a lot of scope here because nobody wears shoes”. So, 99 percent of our life is defined by our attitude. Only 1 percent is determined by whatever skills and knowledge we learn from institutions. Therefore, let us always be positive and optimistic in life. The brightness of our future truly lies in our positive thoughts.