Wisdom For Extraordinary Living
Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions
Today I have the honor of sharing an interview with my inspiring buddy Lori Deschene. You may know Lori from her wholesome website, TinyBuddha.com. It’s always a pleasure to get to connect with Lori, but today’s a special occasion.
Yesterday, Lori released her book, Tiny Buddha, Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions. I sat down (at my computer desk, but none the less), to find out more about her book including what it can do for you. If you’re interested in creating meaning, happiness, and fulfillment – check out the below chat!
**I’ve got two free copies of her book to give away. If you’re interested in getting a copy for free, drop a comment below and/or tweet this out! Enjoy!!**
So Lori, can you tell the Sensophizers a little bit about Tiny Buddha, Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions? Why did you write it, who’s it for, what’s it about, and what impact do you hope it will have on its readers?
Sure! When I first had the idea for this book, I knew I wanted to tackle the most challenging questions in life—the ones that don’t really have clear, concrete answers, like: What’s the meaning of life? Why is there suffering in the world? What does it take to be happy? And: How can you make each day count?
I also wanted to explore the many different ways to answer these questions and utilize those answers for peace, purpose, happiness, mindfulness, and meaningful connection.
I realized pretty quickly the best approach was to crowdsource wisdom by asking these questions through the @tinybuddha Twitter account. This way, the book would touch upon many different perspectives, from people of all ages, all over the world.
I wrote this book because I realize there are very few one-size-fits-all answers in life. This means we each need to be able to identify what makes sense for us individually, and then we need to be able to take action based on what we believe. Neither of those things is easy to do.
My biggest hope for Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions is that readers discover a few possibilities to create meaning, happiness, and fulfillment right now—based on both what they know and what they don’t.
A few months back, you told me that writing and having this book published was one of your dreams. Congratz on a dream come true!! What are 3 lessons that you’ve learned from following your heart, pursuing your dream, and having it come to fruition?
Thank you! The top three lessons I’ve learned about following your heart and pursuing your dream are:
1. LET YOUR VALUES GUIDE YOU.
Although I’ve always dreamed of writing a book, the website is a huge piece of my dream. The community of writers and readers has been growing since the fall of 2009, and it’s developed into exactly what I hoped it would: a place where anyone can share a story about overcoming adversity, and then offer lessons or insights to help other people who may be going through something similar.
The most important part of this journey, thus far, has been clarifying what matters to me—what values I hold dearly—and then operating the site in a way that honors those values.
My core values and how I honor them:
- Honesty: Being open and vulnerable in my writing
- Simplicity: Following a less-is-more philosophy by publishing only one guest post per day and keeping tweets at a minimum
- Humility: Emphasizing the community first, instead of shaping the site around me personally
- Connection: Engaging through comments on the blog and social media pages, and responding to every email
- Integrity: Only earning money and creating partnerships when they align with my other values
Identifying my values was instrumental in following my heart because it essentially outlined what it is my heart really wants—beyond specific outcomes.
When you know what matters to you, it’s much easier to make decisions about what steps to take so that you don’t just reach for your dream—you do it in a way that makes you proud.
2. DEFINE SUCCESS FOR YOURSELF.
It’s all too easy to attach to an idea of success based on other people’s definition. But this is often a recipe for disappointment, because any goal is only as fulfilling as your genuine interest in reaching it.
For example, I know a lot of other bloggers do very well with eCourses, seminars, webinars, and the like, but I genuinely don’t want to do those things—even though they would likely be lucrative.
I would rather spend my time connecting with people through the site, helping myself in the process, and helping other people help each other by publishing their posts. When I am able to do those things effectively, I feel successful.
I believe it’s because I focused on those things that I was able to write this book in the way I wanted to write it. Community is a big part of my idea of success—and a big part of this book.
Know what it is you really want, and resist the urge to do the things you think you should want to do. Pursue your own version of success and you’re more likely to feel fulfilled.
3. FOCUS ON THE PROCESS, NOT THE OUTCOME.
This has been the most freeing choice for me. It’s not something I do perfectly—there are still times when I attach to specific visions for the future. But for the most part, I set process-based goals.
So instead of telling myself I want to be a bestseller, I told myself I wanted to put every ounce of my heart and soul into my book. Instead of fixating on benchmarks for the site’s growth, I’ve focused on giving my all to my writing, and helping other writers do the same.
When you set process-based goals, it’s easier to maintain consistency—and you’re more likely to stay flexible and open to possibilities.
The funny thing about pursuing our dreams is that we’re often better able to make them come true when we take the pressure off creating something that’s exactly like what we’ve visualized. It frees us up to take unexpected paths, and maximize unforeseen opportunities along the way.
Although self-help and personal-development literature often present ideas as being universally applicable, I’ve found that one size does not always fit all. Most of us could benefit greatly from personal guidance because we’ve all had unique past experiences that shape us differently. What part of the wisdom in Tiny Buddha, Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions has had the deepest impact on your journey? What’s one piece of wisdom that you couldn’t live without?
This is actually the crux of my book! Though we all deal with the same universal challenges, the solutions are often unique to each of us.
One lesson that’s helped me tremendously is learning to embrace my humanity. No matter how much I grow, I will still make mistakes. No matter how much I learn, I will still deal with pain. No matter how well I do with my goals, I will still fail at times.
Feelings and experiences will come and go because nothing is permanent. By accepting this instead of fighting it, I am better able to get through the difficult times and create more joy in my life.
This is huge for me, because I fought everything for years, and created a lot of pain for myself as a result. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that I have a choice to get out of my own way—and if I struggle to make that choice in one moment, I can do it in the next.
If you enjoyed this chat with Lori Deschene, hit her up on twitter and tell her! Also be sure to check out Tiny Buddha, Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions.
Remember, I’ve got two free copies of her book to give away. If you’re interested in getting a copy for free, drop a comment below and/or tweet this out! Enjoy!!