The Mindfulness Academy of Asia fosters good life skills for families and young people in the midst of diverse culture, nonstop technological infiltration, generation gaps, thus making today a very confusing world. In this day and age, humans are taught to strive for success that they may subconsciously never wanted, but were conditioned to seek out what they should have to make them happy instead of what they need to be joyful.
There is a beautiful passage from the Church of Joy's little book, "The Book of Joy," stating that happiness refers to the physical state of being. ‘We feel happy when we eat good food, we buy our dream cars, we build a big house, and so on. We feel joyful, when giving without expecting in return, we think of others before ourselves, and we practice unconditional love.’ According to this book, the feeling of joy is intrinsic, it lasts longer and is more fulfilling than happiness, which refers to the extrinsic qualities.
Jack Ma and Steve Jobs are two of the richest and most successful IT gurus of our time. Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, died a billionaire at age 56. This is his final essay:
“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. To some, my life is the epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, my wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to. At this moment, lying on my bed and recalling my life, I realize all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in have paled and become meaningless in the face of my death...The six best doctors in the world are: sunlight, rest, exercise, diet, self-confidence and friends. Maintain them in all stages and enjoy a healthy life."
Today, after all the success he earned, Steve Jobs passed away after battling with cancer, and Jack Ma announced his retirement and succession plan for Alibaba. Currently, his new life goals is to invest in education so that he can share his knowledge to improve the lives of so many people in the world. It's a true gift of giving which I believe he is now experiencing the ultimate joy of living.
Their advice are very useful and practical.
‘Why are two of the most successful people of the 21st century say pay attention to what is important in life and that it is not material success? As a school administrator for 18 years and a mother of three children, I was constantly conditioned to think about what's best for our children. We may be blessed to live in a society where our stakeholders come from affluent backgrounds, highly educated, and involved in international business, law firms, diplomacy, and have traveled the world. But not many people were taught parenting skills or how to heal a broken heart, or trained to have difficult conversations. Is there a university that actually hands out a diploma of a Parenting or Marriage majors? I haven't heard of one, and yet it is two of the most important skills that help children feel happy and successful. One episode of a very famous HBO series featured a scene where a character broke up with his girlfriend on a post it note. This episode was aired in 1998, and now people use Line or WhatsApp as a communication methods to convey their unhappy feelings, make excuses to skip work, etc. People are constantly running away from themselves, their fears, which is why communicating through Line helps them avoid confronting their own feelings and practice inappropriate behaviors. Average workforce graduating after year 2000 change their jobs once every year. Managers and HR of big firms shared with me on several occasions about job interviews. Candidates ask questions like: do you give bonuses? how soon will I be promoted? how much will I make? Instead of asking: what can I do to support your firm? What are your expectations for me? What does this position require?’
All in all, it is a hope that the Mindfulness Academy of Asia will be a small part of our society that instill the practice of of unconditional positive regards for others and to help modern families and educators understand and practice a balance and healthy lifestyles.
Nisanart (Gift) Dharmageisirattana