Key Points from Book: The Art of Happiness

Seek learning even if you die tomorrow -Sakya Pandita

Happy people are more likely to attract mate, enjoy stronger and more satisfying marriages, and better parents

Cultivating greater happiness benefits not only oneself, but also one’s family, community, and society

It is your duty to be happy or to do what you can to become happier

Do not blindly accept teachings out of faith

Increased happiness leads to greater compassion, and increased compassion leads fo greater happiness

I always believe we are the same, we are all human beings

Sometimes it’s very difficult to explain why people do the things they do

While attaining genuine and lasting happiness is not easy, it neverthless cam be done

The very purpose of our life is to seek happiness, which can be achieved through training the mind

Unhappy people who tend to be most self focused and are often socially withdrawn, brooding, and even antagonistic

Happy people are generally found to be more sociable, flexible, and creative and are able to tolerate life’s daily frustrstions

Happiness is determined more by one’s state of mind than by external events

Our feelings if content,rnt are strongly influenced by our tendency to compare

4 factors of fulfillment: wealth, worldly satisfaction, spirituality, enlightenment

As long as there is a lack of the inner discipline that brings calmness of mind, no matter what external facilities or conditions you havem they will never give you the feeling of joy and happiness thst you are seeking

At some point, desires can become unreasonable, that usually leads to trouble

Self satisfaction alone cannot determine if a desire or action is positive or negative

Excessive desire leads to greed, an exaggerated form of desire, based on overexpectation

Greed, although the underlying motive is to seek satisfaction, the irony us that even after obtaining the object of your desire, you are still not satisfied

How can we achieve inner contentment? Obtain everyhing we want and desire, or to want and appreciate what we have

True happiness relates more to the mind and heart. Happiness that depends mainly on physical pleasure is unstable, one day it’s there, the next day it may not be

Right choice is often the difficult one, the one that involves some sacrifice of our pleasure

Frame every decision we face by asking ourselves, “will it bring me happiness?”

An attitude of moving toward rather than moving away, and attitude if embracing life rather than rejecting it

We don’t need more money, we don’t need greater success or fame, we don’t need the perfect body or even the perfect mate, right now, at this very moment, we have a mind, which is all the basic equipment we need to achieve complete happiness

The first step in seeking happiness is learning

If you desire happiness, you should seek the causes that give rise to it

If you are seeking to overcome certain negative ways of thinking, it is not possible to accomplish that simply by adopting a particular thought or practicing the technique once or twice. Change takes time

Dharma is a constant battle within replacing previous negstive conditioning ir habituation with new positive conditioning

Bringing about discipline within one’s mind is the essence of the Buddha’s teaching

Our human nature is fundamentally gentle and compassionate, we must also develop an appreciation and awareness of that fact. And changing how we perceive ourselves, through lesrning and understanding, can have a very real impact on how we interact with others and how we conduct our daily lives

Seeing others as basically compassionate instead of hostile and selfish helps us relax, trust , live at ease. It makes us happier

The turning toward happiness as a valid goal and the concious decision to seek happiness in a systematic manner can profoundly change the rest of our lives

If you can, serve other people, other sentient beings. If not, at least refrain from harming them

People who have close friendhsips, people whom they can turn for affirmation, empathy, and affection, are more likely to survive health challenges

The desire for intimacy is the desire to share one’s innermost self with another

If what we seek in life is happiness, and intimacy is an important ingredient of a happier life, then it clearly makes sense to conduct our lives on the basis of a model of intimacy that includes as many forms of connection with another as possible

Empathy is important not only as a means of enhancing compassion, but when dealing with others on any level as well

Whenever I meet people I always approach them from the standpoint of the most basic things we have in common

When we are dealing with trying to understand relationship problems, the first stsge in this process involves deliberstely reflecting on the underlying nature and basis of that relationship

Romance is a fantasy… Unattainable

When one is in love, one always befins by deceiving oneself and one always ends up by deceiving others-Oscar Wilde

Compassion can be roughly defines in terms of a state of mind that is nonviolenr, nonharming, and nonaggresive. It is a mental attitude based on the wish for others to be free of their suffering and is associated with a semse of commitment, responsibility, and respect towards the other

Greater awareness of other’s suffering can enhance our capacity for compassion

There are some people who, right from the beginning, have suffered much and have lacked other’s affection so that later in life it seems almost as if they have no human feeling, no capacity for compassion and affection, those who are hardened and brutal

In generating compassion, you start by recognizinf that you do not want suffering and that you have a right to have happiness

Suffering can only be temporarily avoided. Confront your suffering

Our attitude towards suffering becomes very important because it can affect how we cope with suffering when it arises. Adopt an attitude thst allows is greater tolerance of it

The root cause of suffering are ignorance, craving, and hatred

We repest our painful memories with the unconcious wish perhaps that somehow it will change the situation-but it never does

We also often add to our pain and suffering by being overly sensitive, overreacting to minor things, and sometimes tsking things too personally

Recognize bad situation for what it is and responding emotionally, without overresponding

Guilt arises when we convince ourselves thst we have made an irreparable mistake

The acceptance of change can be an important factor in reducing a large measure of our self created suffering

Develop patience and tolerance towards your enemies, it is our lesson

Yet it is the very act of struggling against the resistance that ultimately results in our strength

Others are just another human being, like me, moving through life as best as they could

Combine studying and learning with the practices of contemplation and meditation

Suffering can serve many purposes, it can test and potentially strengthem our fsith. It csn bring us closer to God in a very fundamental and intimate way. It can also soften us, make us more sensitive and gentle

May I by experiencing this pain and suffering, be able to help save others who may have to go through the same experiences

We convert pain into suffering in the mind

It is our suffering thst is the most basic element thst we share with others, the factor thst unifies us with all living creatures

Learning-> conviction-> determination-> action-> effort

The importance of urgency not only applies to overcoming problems on a personal level, but on a community and global level as well

We must use every precious moment

One may need to repeatedly remind oneself of those destructive effects

By making steady effort, we can overcome any form of negative conditioning and make positive changes in our lives

If i encounter some obstacles or problems, i find it helpful to stand back and take the long term view rsther than the short term view

Drive and determination, not great talent, led to success

By adopting a different perspective, we can isolate oarts of ourselves thst we seek fo eliminate and do battle with them

When experiencing anger, it may be better to just let it out and express it

If the situation or problem is such that it can be remedied, them there is no need to worry about it. Alternatively, if there is no way out, no solution, no possibility of resolution, then there is also no point in being worried about it, because you can’t do anything about it anyway

The closer one gets to being motivated by altruism, the more fearless one becomes in the fsce of even extremely anxiety provoking circumstances

A man’s gotta know his limitation-Harry Callahan

Honesty enocunter low self confidence

True spirituality is a mental attitude that you can practice at any time


About Journeyman

A global macro analyst with over four years experience in the financial market, the author began his career as an equity analyst before transitioning to macro research focusing on Emerging Markets at a well-known independent research firm. He read voraciously, spending most of his free time following The Economist magazine and reading topics on finance and self-improvement. When off duty, he works part-time for Getty Images, taking pictures from all over the globe. To date, he has over 1200 pictures over 35 countries being sold through the company.
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