Choosing Right Livelihood It is said that our livelihood can consist of having an estimate of nine different careers over our lifetime. Interestingly since we start contemplating our desired career choices as early as pre-school when we are asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Young beings often excitedly proclaim they want to be a police officer, astronaut, hockey player, actor, princess, teacher, or spy. But when I posed this question to my then six year old son, without hesitation he declared “happy”. You might expect that response from a seasoned professional or buddhist, but surely not a young child. While my son is an old soul, his correct view of his future self is admirable and thought-provoking for two reasons. First, as practitioners of the Eightfold Path we seek relief from suffering by way of choosing happiness, mindfulness and virtue. Happiness is a choice, a way of being and a right for all of us. Secondly, when we choose our livelihood, our choice should be influenced by our desired state of mind instead of our desired bank account, fame or accomplishments. The Buddha teaches that Right Livelihood means to earn a living in a legal and ethical way. That our livelihood should not cause harm to people or animals; nor should we create products that are harmful - like weapons or poisons. The essence of Right Livelihood is to choose a vocation in life that not only earns us a living but also creates greater happiness, well-being and wisdom. By doing so, our efforts not only benefits us, but also those around us. For those that are not old enough to work yet, remember your “work” at this moment may consists of your chores, homework, volunteer duties or even your lemonade stand. So it is essential whatever your work may be, you do it with honesty, integrity, you do not cheat, lie or be lazy. Putting the Right Effort and Right Mindfulness into your work is practicing Right Livelihood. Watch now a Q&A session with zen master Thich Nhat Hanh as he shares a story about being yourself and choosing happiness for right livelihood. Sources: * “The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching”, Thich Nhat Hanh By Kohai Dianne Hadad 3rd Degree Black Belt, Renge Dojo Certified Professional Coach, Warrior Spirit Circle 647-203-4882 | firstname.lastname@example.org The WARRIOR SPIRIT CIRCLE creates conversations for kids, parents and martial artists to discover their true self and embody their warrior spirit. Our mission is to share the practical wisdom from the classical martial arts virtues and philosophies to inspirit resiliency, confidence and vibrancy.