A Lesson from The Art of Happiness

Nice refreshing swim!

I picked up again my copy of The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler and I randomly opened the book.  I started to read a few words on the section about personal suffering. I quote “In our daily life, problems invariably arise. But problems themselves do not automatically cause suffering. If we can directly address our problem and focus our energies on finding a solution, for instance, the problem can be transformed into a challenge. If we throw into the mix, however, a feeling that our problem is “unfair”, we add an additional ingredient that can become a powerful fuel in creating mental unrest and emotional suffering.”

The authors have a very clear understanding of how so many people (me included) have our ‘off days’ and we start to complain about how unjust something is in our life. Instead of seeing the problem as a challenge we start to complaint and lose all our energy to the problem instead of using it to solve the problem.

I personally believe that when you focus on an issue as being ‘unjust, unfair, not my fault’ you steadily fall into a self created trap that nourishes instead of eliminates the problem. I recall years ago when I ended up on social assistance when a big company I worked for went bankrupt. I had to hide myself from many fellow employees when I saw them around town since all they wanted to talk about was negative stuff related to the incident and since I had a family I needed to focus on income generation not an unchangeable situation. But I did get infected with negative thoughts from the event and it took me months to get out of my mental swamp but finally I did and that is when I got new employment.

The lesson for me was to stop blaming others in the company for their actions and focus on the real problem income generation. When I stopped blaming others work arrived and then more…

I have my own copy of this book. I recommend you check out The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living (Amazon) I have the 10th Anniversary Edition.

Best Wishes,

David