Just the sound of that is almost surreal to me. I’ve gone through the notes I took that day so many times, but have never shared them…until now.

If I had to sum up everything into one word…I think the best word is “hopeful.” Hearing the inspiring words of the Dalai Lama honestly restored my “hope” for the future…not just my own…but hope for the entire world.

I’ve seen and listened to many different motivational speakers in my life, but I’ve never experienced anything like I experienced from being in his presence. I’ve never seen someone that truly embodies a spirit of peace and happiness like this man. I’m going to be paraphrasing, but I wanted to share some of the biggest takeaways as I’m going back through my notes.

The overwhelming message was that we need to be working tirelessly to promote the deep human values of love, compassion, tolerance, and happiness. It’s important to understand that while we are one person, we belong to the entire human race. Instead of finding ways that we’re different, we should pay attention to the ways that we’re alike.

No matter the religion you claim as your own – they’re all rooted in one overall message of love and forgiveness. Hate, anger, violence, and other destructive emotions are man made and not of God. A heart that contains fear, anger, intolerance, and distrust will never be able to obtain the inner peace, or happiness, that we’re so desperately in search of (and were created to experience). There are more than 7 billion people on this planet, and at their core, they all just want to be happy.

The only true enemy is our own anger and destructive emotions. Science has proven that over time constant fear, anger, and turmoil is terminal. However, genuine caring for others brings an inner strength that leads to a peaceful mind and a healthy body. It’s not just important to think “love” but to put love into action!

While we may feel as though we’re just one person in a giant world with over 7 billion other people, any sort of global change has always and will forever start from within a single individual. Let that person be you.

When he entered the room, you could really feel the air in the room change. I can honestly say I’ve never experienced, first hand, what true peace and happiness looks like in an individual…until today.

One of my favorite quotes is from Zig Ziglar:

You can have whatever you want in life if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.

His Holiness has helped so many people find a happiness they didn’t know existed, and I believe proves what Zig said to obviously be very true.

Understand that a majority of the problems we face in life are of our own creation, but rest easy knowing that from the place the problems were created lies the secrets to a lifetime of peace, love, and happiness. You just have to know where to look.