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Let the Dalai Lama Give You a Little More Project Wisdom

Dalai LamaIf we look hard enough we can find inspiring and heart warming phrases in lots of different places. Best of all, we can usually always adapt the best ones to our life and our current situations no matter who we are and what we do.

For example, one of my personal heroes is the Dalai Lama (the 14th one if you are keeping count). I don’t look up to him for religious reasons really. I just find that he comes across as a simple, wise person who has a lot of good stuff to tell us. He might never have seen a project plan or been to a project definition meeting in his life but let’s see how some of his best quotes can help us in our jobs anyway.

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.

This is such a simple phrase, yet it can be used by anyone in any walk of life. Sometimes it is easy to think that you have got the job you always wanted and that your life is now complete. However, my interpretation of this quote is that we need to keep on doing the right things and carry on building our levels of happiness over time.

Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.

My father used to say something similar to me a lot. We played golf together when I was a kid and he used to point out to me that I needed to know how to do things properly before I invented my own shots or did things my way. I have no idea where he got the phrase from but it applies equally well in the project world. It is only once you fully understand the accepted way of carrying out tasks that you can break the rules and really impose your own personality on what you do.

I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.

I have to confess that finding hope in the darkest of days isn’t something which always comes naturally to me. It can be tough to remain positive on a difficult project but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t keep trying. Some days at work will be great and some will be tough; the trick is in knowing how to cope with the bad days and how to enjoy the good ones.

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

I have included this quote because I believe that it is important to remember that things won’t always go your way. Sometimes it is a question of trying to make the most of a bad hand which you have been dealt. As the phrase says, when you don’t get what you were looking for this can turn out to be a good thing. It might be that you find an alternative way of proceeding which is better or perhaps you will realise later on that you didn’t really want what you thought you did.

Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.

This is a great saying for project managers in my opinion. It is easy to think that we need to be the people who are always talking and trying to show that we are in control of the meetings and the piece of work in general. What I have found is that often it is far better to keep your mouth closed a lot of the time and listen instead. Apart from hearing what others have to say you will also realise that you can often make a great impression by not saying much.

 Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

This final piece of wisdom from the Dalai Lama is very simple and to the point. It applies to all of us and putting it into practise shouldn’t be too difficult either. Just think how much better your projects and the world in general would be if everyone on the planet read this quote and decided to go ahead and do something about it. Being kind in the project manager role means treating everyone well and also thinking about what other people want from you and your work. If you can keep this in mind then you will certainly do a better job than before.

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