I have taken up the habit of using “enlightened life” interchangeably with a “noble life”. I think that the word “noble” conveys a more active participation in living an enlightened life while also including how you treat others. Its a word that I feel Westerners are able to more easily relate to. In addition, the Sanskrit “catvari aryasatyani” and the Pali “cattari ariyasaccani” can be translated into “the truths of the Noble Ones”, but they are more commonly called “The 4 Noble Truths”. From now on I will be using “enlightenment” and “nobility” fairly interchangeably.
Life is full of hardships, but its up to us whether we rise to the challenges or not. Its also important to recognize that things are not inherently good or bad. If you had been planning a camping trip for months and it rains during the trip, you may be angry but the farmer who’s crops were dying would be happy. You can choose to just accept that things didn’t go your way and try to enjoy things as they are actually happening instead. This craving for things to be a certain way to find happiness is one of “The 3 Poisons”, which are the root causes of suffering. This one specifically is aversion. To a very large degree, happiness is a choice.
A noble life is a worthwhile life. When you live a noble life, you leave behind and pass on lessons of nobility to others to help them do the same thing. In this way, you never truly die. Your nobility is passed on and people will learn from it. We should all strive to live noble lives and help others do the same as well.
Anger and enmity are often caused by criticism and abuse. Of course, the best remedy for preventing these things in the first place is living the 8-Fold Path, but many don’t understand or know about those simple noble truths. We should accept constructive and healthy criticism and use it as fertilizer for your own growth. Everyone is a teacher to us because everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. Someone who has a strength in an area where you have a weakness isn’t trying to hurt yo, they’re trying to help you. However, if the criticism is abusive, treat it like garbage. When someone gives you garbage – don’t take it.
What do you do after eating? Naturally, you wash the dishes. What do you breathe in? naturally, you breathe out. You should live a very natural life by getting rid of artificial things and pretension in your life. It does nothing but bring suffering to your life.
A common saying among Mormons is to “endure to the end”. To me, this means putting 100% effort into everything you do. It means doing things the way you were meant to do them. It means living the life you were meant to live, regardless of what others thing about how you should live your life. We so often get caught up about what other people think about who we are and what we do that we don’t live OUR life, we live the life that others want us to. Let go of that, and endure in your own life till the end of it! When we do this, we will have a great sense of mental tranquility.