I read somewhere that Buddha said "Those who fear death have not lived wisely". What did he meant by "Living Wisely" ?

I sometimes interpret this to mean that I should take a chance, quit my job, and become an entrepreneur.

What I want to ask is about mind, should I become hard work in a field according to the interest of my mind or should it does not matter, and keep on doing my work like robot (consciously).

Here's my problem: Some say that in order to achieve true success I should do something that interests my mind (so I will not be distracted or bored). If we are talking about spirituality, shouldn't what is interesting to me be less important?

That is, should I do things that I find fulfilling so as to achieve my success, or should i just keep working hard at what I am doing now, but with more focus?

The Buddhist goal is Nirvana, But I have a family and I want to give them a better life, Why earning money is seen as attachment ?

  • 1
    You need to get your thoughts straight. You want to be successful according to what the Buddha says but you don't even know what that is. How can you want something without knowing what it is?
    – Hugh
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 14:36
  • @Hugh Try to understand the question again, what i want to ask is "Should I work as an iOS Developer for the rest of my life" or "Quit and become an entrepreneur". "what did Buddha meant by living wisely ?"
    – Ritesh.mlk
    Commented Jan 28, 2017 at 1:43

5 Answers 5


It all depends on your goal. If though, you would like to follow the Buddha's teaching then he teaches only how to become free from suffering.

If you would like to become free from suffering, then the right method/medicine would be to practice the Noble Eightfold Path. Not just elements of it but its entirety.

Is your suffering (3 roots defilements; greed, hatred & delusion) in life increasing then you are moving away from the path.

Is your suffering in life diminishing then you are practicing correctly, thereby reducing distance to Nibbana.

Success on the Path would manifest itself in the reduction in mental and physical suffering, an increase in wisdom, happiness and mindfulness and ultimately the winning of Nibbana.

This is roughly speaking the success one who is practicing correctly would experience.


The Buddhist goal is Nirvana and on jet to reach it is called a Sekkha. Success comes then you have reached the goal and free from all stress is accomplished (Asekkha).

Even you are are not fully accomplished, the practice may help you manage your day to day stress, until one day you do not get stressed any more.

Also do not procrastinate doing the tasks as this is the last day or moment. This would help in your worldly aspirations also.


First thing, "Only those fears death, who have not lived wisely", not sure if Gautama Buddha said this. Anyway assuming that he did, what he means is, one day you are going to die, and at that moment you should not be surprised. This can also be rephrased as, Do everything with focus and involvement, as if it is the last thing you would do.

It is not about spirituality versus something else. It is a general life thing. Nowadays people are distracted with 200 things on their minds because they got too involved in thinking/creating ideas rather than doing/implementing. People are taking their life for granted so much that when it is over, they have lost the time to live life rather than think about life. That seems to be what you are busy with right now. Your mind is playing with you. And you are playing along unconsciously. If you were conscious, then you would know it and start living life rather than unnecessarily thinking.

Secondly, Gautama Buddha's goal is enlightenment and the end of suffering. This is single mindedly looking inward to find out what is the nature of suffering and how to end it. If he accomplishes that, that is success. What is your goal? You need to define that for yourself.

Ultimately, know that you will die one day and thus live life consciously. And of course thinking/mind is required for planning and executing an activity. It is not of much use otherwise.


The sutta that you should live by, if you want to achieve success in your lay life - The layman’s welfare - is Dighajanu (Vyagghapajja) Sutta: Conditions of Welfare. In this sutta Buddha instructs rich householders how to preserve and increase their prosperity and avoid loss of wealth. This is The Buddha's Teachings on Prosperity.

The four conditions conduce to a householder's wellbeing and happiness in this very life are the accomplishment of persistent effort (utthana-sampada), the accomplishment of watchfulness (arakkha-sampada), good friendship (kalyanamittata) and balanced livelihood (sama-jivikata).

Here, endeavour is that effort put forth in earning money and wealth for the advancement of your life. Whatever you do in earning your living, you have to be an expert in it. You have to be knowledgable of the field of business. You should not be lazy but be enthusiastic in doing your work. Deliberation and skillfulness are some of the necessary elements to attain success. When you organise businesses skillfully your economy will, no doubt, increase. It enables you and your family members to live at ease without difficulties, troubles and worries.

Then you should know the importance of protecting wealth earned through enthusiasm and righteously working hard. Having known how hard earned wealth is protected and how it gets destroyed, you should know to protect it so that the collected wealth is not lost.

Good friendship is to associate with good people, people who follow a spiritual path. Your life has to have a moral foundation to enjoy external achievements and success. Material success alone is not enough, there should be an association with good friends. Good friends will guide you in right and wrong. They recommend a spiritual path while practising it. If association with a particular person leads to our welfare then that person can be regarded as a Good Friend regardless of his or her age. If you find a person with many good qualities in his life, whether elder or young, either from your own village or suburb or township, it is then good to form an association with him or her. Next is a balanced life. It is the life that you live in accordance to your means and station in life. You must know how to spend money and live an unburdened, debtless life per the state of your income. Especially expenditure should be balanced to your revenue. You should also know how to lead a life with nothing exceedingly luxurious nor extremely austere but should strive to live a peaceful harmonious life following the middle way. You must be especially mindful not to have a competitive attitude regarding lifestyles.

Now, the reasons for the welfare and happiness in the life after death are to be considered. There are four factors that bring happiness to the life after death. The accomplishment of faith (saddha-sampada), the accomplishment of virtue (sila-sampada), the accomplishment of charity (caga-sampada) and the accomplishment of wisdom (pañña-sampada).


Buddha never defined success because nobody is a success. Sooner or later what originates in dust goes to dust with his or her accomplishments. Every effort which originates in desire implies rebirth and pain of going through sufferings of another life. Billionaires and millionaires suffer just like ordinary folks. Buddha talked about getting out of misery not to be comfortably miserable which successful people are.

If your goal is to be inside a golden prison with all the comforts then Buddha is not for you. Infact you should stop even thinking about being spiritual. But if you become successful because you tried to do your best without desiring it then you are spiritual. That way you will not need Buddha or any other guru or religion because you are just following your nature. That path is also termed as Karma yoga in Hinduism. But very few succeed because success brings in ego of accomplishment. You can be spiritual by just being you. All real artists are spiritual by nature. I have talked to many and figured out that they do not need much help in spirituality. Self actualization I think is a better alternative to taking path of self realization as of now for you.

  • successful people are comfortably miserable, except from this idea, answer is good. up vote from my side.
    – Ritesh.mlk
    Commented Jan 28, 2017 at 1:49
  • Taste success and you will even agree to being comfortably miserable. I know many including billionaires. They just cannot sit quietly for five minutes. Steve Jobs is a classic example. He died an untimely death due to work. He was worth $15b!!! You have to understand success is self inflicted wound by most because it is driven by desires and a massive ego. Commented Jan 28, 2017 at 8:11
  • i have been trying to understand meaning of steve jobs life aswell, sometimes it seems, positive and sometimes negative
    – Ritesh.mlk
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 6:06
  • Life has no meaning no purpose. Everything exists as part of a whole.Human existence is the most distorted because mind takes one away from his or her true nature which is Buddha hood. Steve Jobs was an unbalanced figure...too much aggression if you look at his life through books and movie. If you are lopsided you will die faster no matter how spiritual you are. West does not understand a simple thing which is called balance or madhyam nikay. Nobody remembers Rock Feller and nobody will remember Steve Jobs in next 50 years. In next two thousand year even Buddha will be forgotten. Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 19:14
  • What do you mean "Life has no purpose" ? Obviously it has purpose people like rama, krishna and buddha will never be forgotten Do you mean we should not dream of becoming better ?
    – Ritesh.mlk
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 9:31

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .