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.

You Can’t Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought by John-Roger and Peter McWilliams

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I found this book in the free bin at 2nd and Charles.  The title intrigued me, so I decided to read it.

The premise of the book can be summed up in this one quote,

“Right now, in this moment, without moving from where you are, you can find ample evidence to prove your life is miserable, depressing, and a terrible burden, or you can find evidence to prove your life is an abundant, joyful, exciting adventure.”

The book contains information on how to change you perspective and on how to deal with difficult situations.  It was an interesting read and I am glad I gave it a chance.

Pain and Life

To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it.  (Charlie Chaplin) 

Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.  (Joseph Campbell)

Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life.  I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have — life itself.  (Walter Anderson) 

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