lending insights

The Art of Happiness

The Art of Happiness
Making Each Day Your Best


In The Art of Happiness*, the Dalai Lama shares this powerful insight into life:

"I believe that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. That is clear. [Regardless of religion], we are all seeking something better in life. So I think the very motion of our life is toward happiness."

But how do we achieve this happiness which everyone craves? What commonality can we draw upon, regardless of health, wealth, appearance, etc.? The Dalai Lama goes on to explain how the mind can be trained for happiness, despite a lack of material wealth and success. It's that whole idea of "wanting what you have versus having what you want."

Stephen Covey refers to this as "responsibility," or the ability to choose your response. Tony Robbins calls it "reframing your perspective". James Allen simply calls it "self-control." Whatever name is used, the principle is the same: We all have the power to think positive thoughts and to react positively to every "negative" thing that happens in our lives.

Why, then, is it so hard to do? Because like anything worthwhile, it takes effort. It takes practice. It takes time. And like most skills, the sooner you begin, the sooner it becomes easy. No matter how old we are, we can start practicing positive thinking today, and begin feeling happier immediately.

Here are a couple of relaxation techniques that you can use to help maintain a positive frame of mind.

The next time you have an important morning meeting, try leaving early for work. As you get into your car, do not pick up your cell phone. Tune into a classical music station instead, and clear your mind. Once you get to the office, refrain from diving into your email or starting other projects. Instead, review your materials and go over your presentation in your mind. You'll find that you are much better prepared and more relaxed when the meeting time arrives.

Devotees of yoga know that breathing techniques can also help us to fend off stress and negativity. Read through this exercise and then give it a try. Sit back in your chair, place your feet on the floor and your hands in a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Breathe in deeply and slowly through your nose, you should notice that your stomach is expanding. Then exhale through your mouth while you mentally count to five. Repeat this process, inhaling slowly through your nose and exhaling through your mouth while counting to five. After completing this exercise four times, you should feel more relaxed.

*The Art of Happiness, by Howard C. Cutler, MD, ©1998, Simon & Schuster, Inc.

I hope that you will find happiness each and every day!
As I find more helpful Quick Tips, I will share them with you.

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