5 Lessons on Happiness from Tina Turner

Tina Turner is a boss. She has inspired generations with her story of triumph. She has lived through an abusive marriage, financial and career turmoil, coming out the other end a solo star and, more importantly, a happy, confident, warm human being.

In her new book Happiness Becomes You she reveals her superpower: her Buddhist practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with the SGI.

Here are a few of our favorite quotes from the book, which left us deeply inspired.

Real Happiness

“When I speak of dreams coming true, I’m not referring to the external desires in our lives. Material rewards are lovely, and I’m deeply grateful for all the wonderful things in my life now. I worked hard to get to where I am today. But that isn’t the transformation I’m talking about. What shifted for me, what enabled me to attain all the conspicuous benefits I enjoy, was infinitely more important—the deep, inner changes that resulted from my spiritual practice of chanting, studying, and helping others.

“When I first received the gift of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, it marked the beginning of a new life for me in more ways than I could have imagined. Thanks to the spiritual awakenings I experienced by chanting, I gained the clarity and strength to make countless important changes in my life.” (Happiness Becomes You, pp. 85-86)

Have Big Dreams

“When we dream, and especially when we dream big, there is always a gap between the reality of what we have and our goals. The key is finding a way to successfully bridge that distance.

“My spiritual practice is what bridged the gap for me. Hard work, tenacity, and spiritual fortitude helped me to achieve my dreams. Before I learned about chanting, I already had the work ethic and I was tenacious, but what I lacked was spiritual fortitude.

“I found that as my spiritual fortitude increased, my tenacity also increased, which further boosted my work success. Achieving personal fulfillment, in all areas of my life, started by unlocking the door of my wisdom, my Buddha nature.” (Happiness Becomes You, p. 115)

Defeat the Negative Voice Within

“I know from personal experience that there are sometimes negative voices in your head, and they can be dangerous. These voices may say you’re too old, too young, too gay, too straight, too thin, too fat, too this, too that. The voices may tell you it’s too late for your dreams, or that no one will love you. They may tell you all sorts of lies to keep you trapped in unhealthy cycles of self-doubt.

“Maybe you’ve allowed your negative voices to undermine your self-esteem, to hinder your work, or to keep you locked in unhealthy relationships. If so, it’s time to tell those voices you’ve heard their propaganda, and you’re not going to take it anymore. Dismiss them, and you will be the only one holding the pen as you write the story of your life.” (Happiness Becomes You, p. 146)

Find a Great Teacher

“Mentors also help us see ourselves in ways we can’t on our own. At any age, we can find a mentor in life. If we don’t have access to a mentor in person, we can experience the wisdom of a mentor through the written word.

“Looking back, I’ve been fortunate to have a number of mentors in my life. My first mentor was my cousin Margaret, who taught me about the birds and the bees, and how to take care of myself […] Later, I was fortunate to meet my spiritual mentor, Daisaku Ikeda, the world’s leading voice of Nichiren Buddhist philosophy, who gave me words of wisdom that changed my life.” (Happiness Becomes You, pp. 194-195)

Buddhism Helps Us Get Out of Our Comfort Zone

“Going through this process and stretching my boundaries is how I created some of my most successful songs and performances. And I’m grateful that I did.

“Could you imagine my career without “What’s Love Got to Do with It”? That was my biggest hit, and by far the most beloved and transformational song for me and for my fans.

“But it was one of the songs I didn’t like when I first heard it! If I hadn’t been willing to go outside my comfort zone, open my mind a little wider, and do the extra work it took to make it mine, who knows if I would have broken through in my career.” (Happiness Becomes You, pp. 219-220)

If you want more inspiration and encouragement, we recommend her book Happiness Becomes You.

Explore more People