The Art of Happiness

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This is an excellent book and full of wonderful advice on how to achieve happiness in our modern world.  A few of my favorite points are listed below.

  • Happiness can be achieved through training the mind.
  • Success may result in a temporary feeling of elation, or tragedy may send us into a period of depression, but sooner or later our overall level of happiness tends to migrate back to a certain baseline.
  • Whether we are feeling happy or unhappy at any given moment often has very little to do with our absolute conditions, but rather it is a function of how we perceive our situation, how satisfied we are with what we have.
  • Our feelings of contentment are strongly influenced by our tendency to compare.
  • Greed is an exaggerated form of desire, based on over expectation.
  • The true antidote of greed is contentment.
  • Inner contentment is not to have what we want, but rather to want and appreciate what we have.
  • It is more sensible to spend energy focusing on the solution than worrying about the problem.

Peaceful Thoughts

We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves. (Dalai Lama)

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.  (Albert Einstein)

Mankind must remember that peace is not God’s gift to his creatures; peace is our gift to each other.  (Elie Wiesel)

Avoid popularity if you would have peace.  (Abraham Lincoln)