A Force for Good Summary By Daniel Goleman

*This post contains affiliate links, and we may earn an affiliate commission without it ever affecting the price you pay.

A Force For Good (2015) is a book that aims to help you harness your inner power for positive change.

It delves into the wisdom and vision of the Dalai Lama to show readers how individual positive actions can collectively form a global force of good.

The book encourages readers to replace negative thoughts with positive action.

It outlines the basics of compassion, understanding, humility and empathy, and provides examples of how these powerful traits can be used to drive social change in our world.

A Force For Good is an inspiring read that will make you see what one person can do for the world.

A Force for Good

Book Name: A Force for Good (The Dalai Lama’s Vision for Humanity)

Author(s): Daniel Goleman

Rating: 4.4/5

Reading Time: 26 Minutes

Categories: Philosophy

Author Bio

Daniel Goleman is an incredible author, psychologist and science journalist.

For over a decade, he has worked with The New York Times as a journalist covering psychology and brain sciences specifically.

Goleman has written and published many books about psychology, education and science; his most recent being A Force for Good: The Dalai Lama's Vision for Our World.

This book explores the Dalai Lama's deepest commitments to compassion, ethics and sustainable human development in our current world.

With his insights and knowledge, Daniel Goleman provides readers with an informative guide on uplifting our society through humanity itself--something that we are all striving towards.

How to Become a Force for Good: The Dalai Lama’s Guide to Compassion and Selflessness


Discover the Dalai Lama’s vision for making the world a better and more compassionate place.

According to him, many of the woes in today’s society are borne out of feelings of neglect and lack of moral responsibility – we often put our focus on material wealth rather than taking care of each other.

To get us out of this rut, human beings must learn to be kind and considerate to one another.

In essence, this means replacing negative feelings with love and compassion, as that is what truly allows us to work together towards a common good.

We should also strive to listen equally to science and religious teachings so we can better understand how to live a life that is meaningful and purposeful.

The Dalai Lama emphasizes the importance of altruistic selfishness by showing us how we can look out for ourselves without hurting others; he also talks about creating an economy based on collaboration instead of competition.

Finally, he recommends setting aside time every day for crucial self-care rituals such as yoga or mediation which will help center our minds as well as physically relax our bodies.

By following these simple steps, we really can become A Force For Good in this world!

Using Inner Strength to Create a Force for Good: A Message from the Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama believes that the lack of compassionate moral responsibility is to blame for the suffering, violence, and tragedy in our world today.

He motivates us to become a “force for good” – an influence that produces positive effects on those around us, their communities and our shared planet.

In order to reach this force of good, each individual must create an inner shift which reduces negative emotions such as anger, despair and unfairness.

This shift will strengthen our capacity for moral action and engender greater compassion for others.

To do this we don’t have to commit 5 hours of our day towards spiritual practices like meditation – there are many small steps we can take every day which will eventually lead us toward compassionate moral responsibility.

Start with looking inward; managing our own minds and hearts can help equip us to make a small contribution to doing good in the world.

The Dalai Lama has formulated a plan- let’s follow it!

How the Dalai Lama Taught us to Master Our Emotions

Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama was once a victim of his strong emotions.

But he managed to master them, learning techniques that can help us all overcome powerful feelings.

Reflecting upon our emotional responses is one such technique — it enables us to make better decisions and prevent unwanted outcomes.

Take for example the Chinese army’s shooting and arresting of Tibetan protestors in 2008.

The Dalai Lama was obviously filled with rage at hearing such news, yet he remained composed and chose a path which promised less damage overall: he actively visualized the Chinese officials as humans capable of positive emotion; capable of being shown love, compassion and forgiveness.

It’s important to note, though, that understanding our negative emotions doesn’t necessarily mean suppressing them but rather acknowledging when we experience them, then asking ourselves if they are in proportion to the situation or simply familiar reactions.

This insight helps guide us away from unmanageable outbursts and may even prompt us towards productive action.

The Biological Origins of Compassion and Why It Is Separate From Religion

We need to become more compassionate if we want to lead kinder, happier lives.

The Dalai Lama believes that compassion isn’t only found through religion, but is actually in our very nature – just think of how cats and dogs are altruistic towards each other!

Compassion is even rooted in us biologically.

Parents’ instinctual care for their young is evidence of this.

And when we look at the body more closely, the need for positive emotions like love, joy and happiness can help reduce heart disease risk.

Above all else, it’s psychologically healthy to experience more compassion – it creates a sense of belonging and makes us focus on something bigger than our own petty concerns.

Becoming more compassionate can also bring us happiness as it energizes us and connects us with those around us.

We need to explore how compassion looks in our world today: doing so will make everyone’s lives better and happier in the end.

The Power of Compassion: How We Can Use It to Fuel Constructive Action

Power of Compassion

Taking action based on compassion is about more than just relieving suffering; it also requires a sense of fairness, transparency and accountability.

According to the Dalai Lama, we can drive positive actions by living up to these three principles.

When making decisions or taking action to help others, we must first strive to treat everyone equally no matter their background – this is the principle of fairness.

This involves not giving preferential treatment nor allowing our prejudices to distort our judgment.

We must also be open and honest with our communications and when taking responsibility for our mistakes – this is where transparency comes in.

Without openness, it is difficult to negotiate effectively and find solutions that are beneficial for everyone involved.

The Dalai Lama Showcases the Power of Combining Spirituality and Science

The Dalai Lama understands the importance of combining science and religion, and argues that they are not mutually exclusive.

In fact, he believes that we can rely on them both to answer questions about reality and to gain a better understanding of how our world works, as well as how to make it a better place.

When it comes to truly comprehending the workings of our minds, for example, the best approach is a hybrid one which involves Buddhist sources combined with contemporary scientific findings.

Science can also lend credibility even to skeptics by proving that religious methods actually work in specific contexts.

For instance, Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) developed by Thupten Jinpa as an adaptation of classical Tibetan methods was successfully evaluated by researchers at Stanford University.

They found it led to decreased levels of anxiety and increased happiness among patients with social phobia and chronic pain sufferers.

Can Capitalism Become Compassionate? The Dalai Lama’s Vision of a Moral Economy

Moral Economy

The Dalai Lama believes that it is possible to create an economy that doesn’t result in lasting social damage.

Most of the problems that arise are due to a lack of moral compassion on the part of those who enforce the system, and both capitalism and communism can be corrupted by selfishness and exploitation.

That’s why he proposes a compassionate economy which blends entrepreneurial spirit with social responsibility.

For-profit companies need to adopt the heart of nonprofits, giving people opportunities — those coming from poverty or refugee backgrounds — a chance at making an income and becoming self-reliant over time.

We have already seen this idea come into practice in places like Bangladesh with Grameen Bank’s microloans, as well as Prosperity Candle, providing refugees and underprivileged women with jobs.

These initiatives prove that business can indeed be used as a force for good if it works hand-in-hand with social responsibility!

The Power of Self-Empowerment: The Role that Privileged and Marginalized Groups Play in Working Toward Change

Both the privileged and the underprivileged have a huge responsibility in society to work together to create change.

Those with more resources are obligated to take the initiative by learning about what resources their less fortunate counterparts need and act accordingly, whether it’s through education, job training or other forms of support.

On the other hand, those in need must also take ownership of their own lives, even if it seems impossible at times.

This is a lesson that has been learned by many Tibetans – when faced with poverty and oppression, they harnessed this attitude to work towards a brighter future.

Through hard work and dedication they were able to break free from any racial stereotypes in order to achieve greater academic success.

No matter what form this attitude takes – whether it be Carol Dweck’s “mindset” or Angela Duckworth’s “grit”– one thing is certain: positive circumstances arise when both parties partner up for social change.

We Must Stop Blocking Out the Guilt of Our Negative Impact on the Planet To Save Our Home

Negative Impact

Our planet is under threat due to our obsession with money and profits.

We have become so focused on making a quick buck, that we have done immense damage to our own environment.

Forces such as irresponsible logging practices, the growth of cars on the roads, overconsumption of resources such as water and paper, and the use of chemicals in fertilizers are all taking their toll on the Earth.

At this point, it is clear that we know very well what kind of destruction our actions are causing to the planet yet still we continue along this path due to our overriding greed for money that outweighs any fear for the future.

For example, restricted logging practices were put in place by the Chinese government in order to protect against floods in India, Bangladesh and China – yet individuals have still managed to find ways around these regulations purely out of self-interest.

Cognitive scientist Elke Weber states that this phenomenon can be attributed to a tendency among humans to block out guilt concerning their negative environmental impact; we often choose an escapist mentality rather than facing up to reality when it comes ecological responsibility.

To counter this difficult behaviour pattern and encourage engagement with emissions reduction initiatives involving handprints could prove beneficial in helping people understand how their actions affect change.

We Can Overcome Prejudice through Friendship, Kindness, and Open Dialogue

Positive statements and individual friendships are powerful solutions for conflict.

This is something that renowned philosopher A.J.

Ayer demonstrated when a situation with Mike Tyson and Naomi Campbell became volatile.

Ayer wisely said something positive about both parties – himself included – in order to encourage a more open dialogue and eventually de-escalate the tension between the two people.

He realized that communication and mutual understanding are essential elements in order to handle any kind of conflict, which was proven right when Campbell managed to slip away unharmed.

Social psychologist Thomas Pettigrew tracked down hundreds of studies from numerous countries and found that time after time, even just having an emotional involvement with someone from an opposing group can be enough to diminish prejudice and put out the flames of conflict between individual groups.

Whether it’s a friendship or a romance – it doesn’t matter – creating an emotional bond can work as a powerful solution for any kind of disagreement or strife that may arise.

The Dalai Lama Promotes Mind Training to Educate the Heart and Cultivate Better Choices

Mind Training

Children need more than just good grades in school; they need an education of the heart.

The Dalai Lama believes that modern schooling must be modified to put emphasis on cultivating inner traits such as kindness and compassion.

This way, our children become more compassionate leaders of tomorrow.

One method the Dalai Lama suggests is through mind training exercises, illustrated by Simran Deol’s example where she wore a helmet measuring her concentration levels while concentrating on a dot.

By observing this single dot both within the mental plane and the sensory level, Simran improved her ability to focus considerably.

This simple exercise is what kids need to learn self-control and emotional regulation so they can make better choices in different life situations.

Moreover, these sound principles teach a deeper understanding of others and foster a sense of connection with fellow humans while emphasizing nonviolence when handling conflicts.

Seeing the Possibility for Compassion and Kindness in Every Situation

When events in the world around us seem dire, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with feelings of fear and despair.

It’s important to remember that nothing is permanent – by taking a long-term view, we can gain perspective on our current situation.

The late Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker was fond of recalling how two countries at former odds – Germany and France – eventually formed an alliance as members of the European Union.

Charles de Gaulle, who had led the Free French Army against Nazis Germany, even became close friends with German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.

Such cooperation would have been absolutely unthinkable during World War II.

Though today there still exist tensions between many nations, they could one day be resolved if leaders acted with compassion and kindness instead of hostility and violence.

Yet because news outlets often focus on negative stories, it can feel like kindness has been forgotten or buried under acts of cruelty.

However, we must remember that goodness is still alive in this world; it simply doesn’t always make headline news.

The Dalai Lama’s Advice for Making a Difference: Take Action to Create Positive Change Yourself

The Dalai Lama believes that the power to create change lies within individuals, not in governments or other organizations.

This idea is something that Reverend Bill Crews put into practice when he went out of his way to help those in need, from setting up soup kitchens to homeless shelters and health clinics for the underserved.

He even had the Dalai Lama joining him in this task, symbolizing how everyone should be getting involved no matter who they are and what experience they have.

By emphasizing that it’s individuals who can create change and not waiting for society to act first, we can make an impact on our own terms.

No matter where you come from or what your means are, each person has their own potential to bring about a shift in their current situation and provide an example for others to follow.

Wrap Up

The book A Force for Good provides readers with actionable advice that encourages individuals to shift away from negativity and toward positivity.

The key message of this book is that in a world full of suffering, it’s time for people to take action and make a change – and it all starts with them.

For those seeking out a way to calm themselves down, A Force For Good suggests taking five to ten deep breaths aided by focusing on mental cues, such as “in” while inhaling and “out” while exhaling.

This technique is proven to help reduce fear and anxiety when practiced regularly.

All in all, A Force For Good encourages readers to tap into their positive mindset so they can be agents of positive change in the world.

With its actionable advice, this book shows us how each and every one of us can put our passion into motion.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.