I was introduced to this particular Fake Buddha Quote by someone who wanted to show me their Buddha quote website. As is often the case, most of his quotes were fake.
This one comes from Shantideva’s Bodhicaryavatara, or “Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life.” Shantideva was an 8th century Indian teacher who was a monk at Nalanda University. This work outlines a Mahayana concept of a compassionate path to awakening—one where your motivation for spiritual growth is not to benefit just yourself but all beings.
There’s a lot of great stuff in the “Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life,” including some very practical reflections for developing patience.
This particular quote is verse 10 from from Chapter 6.
If a problem can be solved,
What reason is there to be upset?
If there is no possible solution,
What use is there in being sad?
The Dalai Lama is a big fan of Shantideva, and a lot of his teaching is a restatement of things from the Bodhicaryavatara. So his version of the quote above, found in “Dalai Lama: A Policy of Kindness” (page 99) is:
If you have fear of some pain or suffering, you should examine whether there is anything you can do about it. If you can, there is no need to worry about it; if you cannot do anything, then there is also no need to worry.