I found this book while clearing my son’s old books for donation. I took the finding as a sign at I should read it. The fact that it’s divided in 100 short chapters makes this an easy read. The headings of each chapter is followed by the author’s explanation and experience.
I have recently been in contact with Buddhism through various talks and reading materials. The philosophy behind Buddhism on why people suffer and how to end suffering generally forms some of the basis of this book, like:
#4 – Be aware of the snowball effect of your thinking
#5. Develop your compassion
#10. Learn to live in the present moment
#26 Set aside quiet time, every day.
#71 Quiet the mind
#72 Realise the power of your own thoughts.
Other suggestions are commonly advised in popular books on Happiness which reminds us to put others before self, such as:
#8 Do something nice for someone else- and don’t tell anyone about it.
#12 Let others be right most of the time.
##35 Look beyond behaviour
#36 See the innocence
#40 Resist the urge to criticize
#74 Do a favour and don’t ask for, or expect one in return
#79 Stop blaming others
Although I admit the suggestions are not new, the reminder is still useful as one needs to practise in order to realise it.
Did I learn anything new? Yes definitely. #87 Redefine a “meaningful accomplishment” says that the emphasis on meaningful accomplishment is almost always on the external aspects of life – things that happen outside of ourselves, which are not important type of accomplishments if your primary goal is one of happiness and inner peace. Why not redefine as being those that support and measure qualities such as kindness and happiness?
In general, I am already practising many of the suggestions, #71 Quiet the mind; #72 Take up yoga;#45 Develop your own helping rituals;#66 Think of what you have instead of what you want; #84 nurture a plant – to name a few.
Any that would be difficult to follow? No, it won’t be #21 Imagine yourself at your own funeral. Some are practised in progress, like #75 think of your problems as potential teachers or #13 Become more patient. But my hardest would be #80 Become an early riser. The author wakes up between 3-4am for his quiet uninterrupted time and advocates we should do the same. Perhaps when I am a octagenarian like my Grandma, where waking up at four am is not an option but a nature’s call, I will.
This is a good book to start reading in your pursuit of happiness.