Practical work guided by this deeper perspective on human nature sets up a continuing cycle of learning, creativity, and accomplishment. As we have grown in self-understanding, we have learned to work much more effectively; the longer we have worked together, the more we have learned about ourselves. Wherever we work, whatever our specific goals, sounder knowledge of our inner resources gives us a solid basis for skillful action. As this knowledge grows and is applied in the everyday world, it moves from theory to a direct and personal understanding that we can implement more effectively in our lives and our work.
When we are devoted to a purpose we care deeply about, we are more inclined to take complete responsibility for our actions to ensure good results. Working on Nyingma projects over the years, we have discovered that taking responsibility is the secret to increasing self-knowledge, self-motivation, and self-confidence.
Engaged in meaningful work, we learn how to develop awareness and other inner resources such as patience, determination, concentration, and open-mindedness. These positive qualities bring us greater control over our lives and allow us to persevere in the face of challenges. With a clear purpose in mind, we can find ways to develop whatever knowledge, skills, and personal qualities we need to succeed, and thus increase our ability to accomplish our purposes.
From a talk by Rinpoche, spring, 1987: "Because it is more comprehensive and more attuned to universal human aspirations, spiritual knowledge can operate in the practical world more successfully than ordinary understanding. Such clear-sighted knowledge can support our desires to derive deeper satisfaction from our work, to perfect abilities and skills, to defuse the pressures of the modern world, and to make a contribution."
From Ways of Work p.g. 9-11, by Tarthang Tulku