The Art Of Happiness - 1 Of 10

I have been wanted to write about this book for quite some time now - but I have been putting it off because I wasn't sure how exactly to go about it.

This year - for me - is "my year" - the year where I set goals and I reach them. All of my goals are centered around one thing - Loving, Caring For and Respecting Myself. This is something that I have never done - and something that does not come naturally to me. It also - consequently - happens to be one of the main themes in the book I just finished reading titled "The Art of Happiness: A handbook for living" by Howard C. Cutler. The book is centered around the Dalai Lama - focused on his theories and opinions on how to achieve happiness and live a fulfilled life.

I have consumed myself in this book over the past few weeks because page after page touched on topics that where relevant to me and I suspect every other human being on the planet. Topics such as finding happiness, dealing with anxiety, accepting others, accepting yourself, spirituality, forgiveness, compassion... and the list goes on and on.

The thing that I found most impressive about this book is that it could be beneficial to anybody - young or old - christian, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, atheist etc. - black or white - rich or poor - .... It doesn't matter! The book talk's about how we are all connected - how we are all part of the human race and even though we are unique we all impact each other and need each other for our own survival.

I think that feeling connected is something that I struggle with. I spend a lot of my time feeling that I can't relate to the people in my life - like the don't understand me. I am not saying that this book has completely changed that train of thought but it has made me look at things from a different perspective - and made me more accepting of the thing's that once burdened me. It has also made me feel a bit less pressure - because I am clearly not the only person struggling in life. It has made me realize that the most important thing I can do is make a good choice.

That is another key point in this book - looking at situations and problems from a different perspective and trying to see them in a different light. Imagine your problems or your actions where those of someone else - how would you feel about them then?

One of my favorite parts of the book is when it talks about sources of happiness and it tells you to ask yourself before you go to bed at night if you where happy with the past 24 hours - not necessarily with the event's that took place - but with how you dealt with situations, and how you chose to live.... The best part is that if the answer is "No" there is no reason to beat yourself up about it. You simply just need to make a better effort the next day.

I could go on and talk about all of my "favorite parts" but rather, I would recommend to anybody to give this book a read. I truly believe this is a book that can change anybodies life if they are open to it. This book is not trying to give you all the answers to life or sell you on philosophy... In the last chapter the Dalia Lama himself says that Buddhism is not for everybody, and he is glad that everybody is not Buddhist. This book simply outlines a way of viewing, appreciating, and living life that has the potential to make you a happier person. There is no magical drug you take, or expensive stone you have to purchase, it is just simply using logic to unburden your mind and be at peace with the world around you.

If nothing else I can guarantee you that after reading a few pages your heart rate will drop - I always felt incredibly calm while I was reading this "handbook".

Peace and love,

annalea annalea
26-30, F
2 Responses Jul 15, 2010 should work for a publishing company writing book reviews...amazing write up!!! <br />
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It changed my life...and just to let your know....the changes become less magnified..but they are permanent. :-)

I am so glad that that book is so good for you! You deserve all the happiness in the world!<br />
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And, I love your writing!