If you continue doing the same thing, you will keep getting the same result.

It’s insane to repeat the same thing over and over again but expect the outcome to be different…

After one of his teachings, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, was asked the following question:  “How can we find out about our past lives?”

The Dalai Lama replied, “Look at your present life. This precise moment in your life is a reflection of your past and your past lives.”

A short silence followed in which the audience pondered the reality in the Dalai Lama’s answer. Shortly after, a member of the audience posed another question: “What about our future lives? How can I learn about my future lives?”

Without any hesitation, the Dalai Lama answered, “Look at your present life. At this moment, you are determining what your future and your future lives will be.”

At this time of the year, when people are filled with hope for the year ahead, you may find it useful to dwell on this question for a little while.

So, if many of my actions are determined by my past beliefs, the way I was conditioned, my habits, and my recurring thoughts, if I use my experiences to deepen my conditioned habits, and if these are predictions that will make themselves real, how can I possibly build a different future? How can I prevent myself from being a robot that responds to circumstances based on its programming? How can I avoid being a vehicle that carries specific patterns of thoughts and beliefs from the past to the future? How can I make a difference? How can I really have freewill? How can I make the years 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018,2019 and so on any different to the years before?

With the severity of my conditioned beliefs and habits hanging over this very moment, how can I achieve something different other than what’s already been dictated?

The answer is to be fully conscious of these burdens and this precise moment…

I can only select a new, genuine and real preference in the here and now when I understand that what I call preferences are not preferences at all. I need to realize the boundless potential sitting right in front of me. I should come to terms with the fact that definitions, “me” in other words, may have determined my past preferences, but they are in fact false, intangible and fleeting. I should escape the limitations of these definitions and my conditioning and step into a world of endless possibilities.

I can only be truly independent when I achieve these things…