Samsara of Life: circle of essential desired things

Thousands of bathroom walls read “Go placidly amid the noise and haste …” As you wash your hands and check your hair, it continues, “Remember what peace there may be in silence.” Hands dried and leaving, you twist back for one more glance at, “Do not compare yourself to others/Do not distress yourself with imaginings” and pulling the door closed you catch the ending line, “It is still a beautiful world, strive to be happy.”

Max Ehrmann’s 1927 “Desiderata” was not found in Old Saint Paul’s Church in 1692. The pastor had printed the church’s founding date near Ehrmann’s decades-old poem. The public latched on to the more-intriguing version. Misinterpretations, assumptions, copyright battles and the poem’s discovery at Adlai Stevenson’s bedside after his death spun a haunting and compelling mystery that launched the beautiful prose poem of “essential desired things” into the public domain.

Nearly 100 later, to the individual, the startup and the steady on, I offer the Samsara of Life.

The Samsara distills what works in life and business down to selected essential truths. This prose poem serves as my summary of what I’ve seen over the past three decades of interpreting lives and businesses.

If the advice is true, you may see this Samsara hanging in a bathroom.  Who knows, there may be a line saying it was found in an old church centuries ago.

Rick Griggs is the inventor of the rolestorming creativity tool and founder of the Griggs Mastery Academy for professional development. 970.690.7327

Samsara of Life


Your private voyage began generations ago, and now, your actions will determine its destination.  § Respect other voyagers; you do not know their compass.   Control your access to the loud bellowers, they have nothing more to accomplish.  §   Build habits first, the results will follow.   Stick to the confidence deep in your heart.   

Believe in a guiding star; great figures have believed the same.  §   Remember that work makes happy but don›t overdo it.  With power comes humility but never forget to take your bow and accept the esteem of your success.  § It is sublime to touch your bliss in music, leisure, art or sport.   §   You can lower anxiety and pessimism by doing the hard thing first.  Do not let the cynics and false experts shake your mastery; they choose to tear down rather than build up.  Don›t worry, they will not last.  §   Focus on those who are proud to be a part of this world.   

Listen closely to people who show they can change their mind—they know courage.  §   Seek achievement rather than publicity; if the world deserves you, it will recognize you.  Wait.  §   Eat an apple, banana, carrot and orange each day.  §   Enjoy long walks, and use your own hand to write cards and letters, this will clear your mind and bring joy to others.  Explore and travel—the world is magnificent and perplexing.  See as much of it as you can.  § If it›s true, “Le travail, c’est la santé” then work hard and be healthy.  Relish your time to read, study and gather advice, but be clear—you are still responsible.  § As your life makes its full circle, look fear in the face and calm any guilt about taking time for yourself.  You deserve what you have built and you merit the legacy they will engrave in your memory. 

Like the etched lines in grand canyons, the true meaning of life is to find your place in history and to live it well.  § And when your day gently glides to its horizon with perfect balance and poise let them say you were a master who kept a regal bearing; did not complain; and left a worthy mark. §  §

Samsara- the eternal cycle of balance, meaning & mastery


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>