10 Life Lessons We Learned from Dr. Wayne Dyer
Dr. Wayne Dyer changed the world for the better. He spoke and wrote words that have left an unquestionable mark on humanity. Dr. Dyer is the celebrated author of 30 renowned books and a self-development icon and teacher. He was a moving, core-shaking public speaker, and his presence always lit up a room in a very real, palpable way. But more than this, Dr. Dyer was a luminary who advocated a progressive, dharmic, and ego-free lifestyle that rests on philosophies of ancient text and strong biblical reference. He taught us that we are all in a position to live a meaningful, intentional, and reverent life. He also taught us how to recognize and activate this potential within ourselves.
Now, we write about Dr. Dyer in the past tense. At the age of 75, he has passed away.
Here are 10 life lessons that Dr. Wayne Dyer has taught us:
1. Everything has a dharma – live by your dharma.
Your dharma is your calling or your purpose in this life. Wayne encourages us to explore what our purpose is – to learn our dharma and live by it. Avoid living through the ego – comparing, competing, fighting – and instead live through your dharmic nature. Explore what your true purpose is on this planet, be open to what the universe sends your way, and be authentically yourself.
2. Show compassion.
Dyer teaches us to see ourselves in everyone we encounter. He tells us to do this even with our enemies; our enemies ultimately only want the same thing that we want – to be at peace. Recognizing this connection can induce a sense of compassion for even those that you dislike. On the same token, Wayne promotes forgiveness, which we must utilize to live a healthy, peaceful life. Wayne regularly referenced Mark Twain and said that “forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heal that has crushed it.” I encourage you to take that with you throughout life, as Wayne would surely agree.
3. Be strong by bending.
Flexibility over rigidity.
4. The Power of I AM.
In his book Wishes Fulfilled, Dr. Dyer teachers that by using “I AM,” we are evoking the God-like divine part of ourselves. Dyer demonstrates this with a verse from Exodus where God tells Moses “I AM THAT I AM.” Dyer implores us to be aware of how we are using “I Am” in our daily lives, as this is essentially a statement that “asserts our divine nature.”
Through the use of I AM, we are taught to experience the feeling of the wish we want fulfilled. He encourages us to experience the feelings of accomplishment before we even accomplish, and to experience the feeling of success before you succeed. In other words, meditate on the mantra “I AM” while consciously filling in the blank of whatever it is you seek to manifest in your life. If you seek peace, meditate on “I am peace.” Wayne teaches us that by doing this, we are training our subconscious. We are associating an affirmation with a positive feeling, thus controlling the subconscious mind and making life an enjoyable journey. Such a powerful message!
5. Let go of these false ideas:
“I am what I have.”
“I am what I achieve.”
“I am what people think of me.”
“I am separate from everything I want in my life.”
“I am separate from God.”
Dr. Dyer teaches us that we came from an infinite, higher power, thus, this infinite power and purpose lives within us. Through this connection, it is impossible to be disconnected or separate from God. We are created from divine spirit, and that spark lives within us.
When you start to associate who you are with materials, success, and achievements, you are discrediting and minimizing the infiniteness from whence you came. Wayne believed that when ego takes over (the part of you that says, “I am what people think of me”), you begin to attach your identity to things and successes, which is dangerous because when you lose those things, you subsequently lose yourself.
6. Stop interfering in your own life.
Dr. Dyer references our prenatal state, from conception to birth. He points out that in those 9 months we want for nothing – we are completely taken care of. Whatever we need, we get through our mother’s womb. We aren’t worried about anything, we just are. Dyer tells us to implement this philosophy into our adult lives, surrendering to the waves of happenstance, to the stresses of life. Let go, surrender to whatever is going to happen, stop interfering, stop fighting and just be.
7. Enjoy the mystery of life.
In Dr. Dyer’s interpretation of the first verse of the Tao Te Ching, he tells us to enjoy the mystery of life and stop always trying to control, fight, and interfere. “Let the world unfold without always attempting to figure it all out. Let relationships just be… Don’t try so hard to make something work – simply allow. When expectations are shattered, practice allowing that to be the way it is. Relax, let go, allow…” (from the book Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life).
SUGGESTED READ: A Lesson from the Tao Te Ching on the Duality of Life
8. Radical Humility.
“Live low, stay low, like the ocean…see everything in your life as miraculous” (PBS Audio “Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life”).
9. That is real which never changes.
Dr. Dyer teaches us that what does not change is real. Everything else is an illusion. For example, our bodies are constantly changing – the body we had when we were 5 years old does not exist anymore, thus the body is not real – it is merely an illusion.
Our soul, however, is unchanging and infinite; this part of us is indeed real. When looking at life from this perspective, the small, mundane conditions are ruled as unimportant; they are fleeting. In this same arena, Dyer notes that the ego is an illusion and that it “tells us we’re separate from what we want in life.”
10. How may I serve, how may I be reverent?
Lastly, Dr. Dyer urges us make this question our top priority. He encourages us to surrender to something bigger than ourselves. When we start to live our lives with this question at the forefront of our intention, we reap benefits that we didn’t know existed, we start to see things that we didn’t know were there, and we feel the strength of the divine, infinite power that lives within us. Dyer often liked to share a quote from the poet Hafiz: “Even after all this time, the Sun never says to the Earth, ‘You owe me.’ Look what happens with a love like that, it lights the whole sky.”
Dr. Wayne Dyer was a visionary who taught us to see the world in a different way. In incorporating Dr. Dyer’s teachings into our lives, we learn to understand that there are miracles all around us. The world has lost a great and influential man, but his legacy lives on in the world, burning brightly inside each of us. And as Wayne promised himself years and years ago, make a promise to yourself to not “die with your music still in you.”