9 Qualities That Make Us Vulnerable

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Buddhist monk and bestselling author Matthieu Ricard reveals nine mindsets that keep us from living our best lives

Avoid the attitudes below, says scholar-healer Matthieu Ricard, and you’ll be on the path to a happier life.

1. Cultivating an exacerbated sense of self-importance

2. Ruminating on the past

3. Being anxious about the future

4. Being unable to remain in the present moment

5. Pinning all your hopes on the outer conditions of happiness – for example, wealth, power, and physical appearance

6. Neglecting to cultivate the inner conditions of happiness: inner peace, inner freedom, altruistic love and compassion

7. Seeking happiness only for ourselves, and not for others

8. Being overly concerned with gain and loss, praise and criticism, fame and anonymity

9. Allowing our prejudices to interfere our objectivity

Former geneticist Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk, humanitarian and international bestselling author of Why Meditate: Working with Thoughts and Emotions. Visit him on the web at matthieuricard.org.

8 comments so far.

  1. avatar crystalclear says:

    All nine of the reasons above are REAL.   I have known people who display all nine of these qualities.   I simply call them “obsessive compulsive” personalities.   Fortunately, most of us are not like this!!!

    • avatar Joan Larsen says:

      I have found – seen – that younger people are more self-absorbed, not yet having understood or established the inner values that only come with time.  Sometimes it takes a light bulb to go off, a tragedy or deeply emotional times to beset us before we begin to have our eyes open wider  – and understanding to set in. 

      Sorry to say, for some the “rules” never seem to drop into place given here.  But once we realize that “we only have today for sure” so we must make it the best we can — and that doing for others gives us wonderful feelings and delight often in return that we see our lives and our perceptives changing. 

      As much as the list above sounds like it is right and should be followed TODAY, life intervenes and so do excuses.  But with the years of life comes “sense” and “wisdom” and a new door opens to the world unexpectedly often — and then the best of life really begins.

  2. avatar crystalclear says:

    Joan, excellent words!   Some of the young today are extremely self-absorbed because of the way they were raised.   Life experiences and having a family of their own will bring them down to what really matters in life and that is to be a good neighbor, a good citizen and enough room in their hearts to care about those in need and down on their luck.

  3. avatar crystalclear says:

    I thought the following ties into this article in a silly way so please enjoy!

    A Woman was out golfing one day when she hit the ball into the woods.
    >
    >She went into the woods to look for it and found a frog in a trap.
    >
    >The frog said to her, “If you release me from this trap, I will
    >grant you three wishes.”
    >
    >The woman freed the frog, and the frog said, “Thank you, but I
    >failed to mention that there was a condition to your wishes.
    >
    >Whatever you wish for, your husband will get times ten!”
    >
    >The woman said, “That’s okay.”
    >
    >For her first wish, she wanted to be the most beautiful woman in the world.
    >
    >The frog warned her, “You do realize that this wish will also make
    >your husband the most handsome man in the world, an Adonis whom
    >women will flock to”.
    >
    >The woman replied, “That’s okay, because I will be the most
    >beautiful woman and he will have eyes only for me.”
    >
    >So, KAZAM-she’s the most beautiful woman in the world!
    >
    >For her second wish, she wanted to be the richest woman in the world.
    >
    >The frog said, “That will make your husband the richest man in the
    >world. And he will be ten times richer than you.”
    >
    >The woman said, “That’s okay, because what’s mine is his and what’s
    >his is mine.”
    >
    >So, KAZAM-she’s the richest woman in the world!
    >
    >The frog then inquired about her third wish, and she answered, “I’d
    >like a mild heart attack.”
    >
    >Moral of the story: Women are clever. Don’t mess with them.
    >
    >
    >Attention female readers : This is the end of the joke for you. Stop
    >here and continue feeling good.
    >
    >Male readers: Please scroll down.
    >
    >.
    >.
    >.
    >.
    >.
    >.
    >.
    >The man had a heart attack ten times milder than his wife ..
    >
    >
    >Moral of the story: Women are not really smart, they just think they are.
    >
    >Let them continue to think that way and just enjoy the show.
    >
    >PS: If you are a woman and are still reading this; it only goes to
    >show that women never listen!!!

  4. avatar crystalclear says:

    Mary, is that not a hoot?    I’m still laughing myself….it’s so funny!

  5. avatar flyonthewall says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Ricard’s list of attitudes to avoid. I have seen these attitudes in quite a few people of all walks of life, the young and the old, rich and poor, etc. People who are self absorbed, self serving and selfish. Not someone I care to be or be around.

    PS. I love your story, crystalclear. You got me chuckling!

    • avatar crystalclear says:

      Hi Fly!  You’ve got that right….”those” types come in all sizes, shapes and ages.   Life is too short to be an audience for people like that.