Thich Nhat Hanh
What do you really want to do with your life?
Volition is intention. What do you want to do with your life? You have a life. You are given a life to live. And what do you want to do with your life? That is a question. Of course, you have the right to look for material comforts, and affective comforts. But that's not really the deepest desire of your life. You want to do something, really something, with your life, not just looking for material and affective comforts. Material comforts, affective comforts are a daily concern, but do you have any untimate concerns? Anything that is more long lasting, more meaningful, the meaning of your life? And that is the fifth - the fourth - the fourth element of food. That is a tremendous source of energy. If your volition is only to make money, to become number one corporation, that's not enough, because there are those who have a lot of money, a lot of power, and yet they are not happy; they feel quite lonely. They don't have time to live their life. Nobody understands them. They don't understand anyone. Happiness is not there because there is no understanding and love. So, your volition is not to have a lot of money, to have social recognition, to have a lot of power or fame. What you really like, you want, it may be something more. Maybe you want to reverse the direction of civilization. You want to help people to go back to themselves, in order to take care of themselves. You want to help people to know how to handle the suffering in them, how to heal, how to transform, how to generate joy and happiness, how to live deeply every moment of their life, so that they can help their beloved one to do the same, and help the earth to restore her beauty. And that is a good source of nutriment. That is a good desire, a good nutriment. And as a corporate leader, you put into yourself that kind of energy, and then you become very strong.
And that is the first item they wanted Thay to speak about - the intention, the motivation behind that pushes us to do what we are doing. The Buddha has a strong desire, a desire to transform himself, to have a lot of freedom and compassion in order to help people to suffer less. That is a good desire, that is good food, and animated by that kind of energy he spent 45 years teaching and helping people, all kinds of people. He had a very strong energy. So, those of us who have a good source of nutriment concerning volition can be a very happy person, and that is why only wishing to have a lot of money and fame and power is not good food. To generate understanding and compassion, to be truly happy and to be able to help many people, that is good volition, good intention. And if a corporate leader has that kind of bodhicitta, and then he can reverse the trend of civilization.