4 JULY 2013
THE ART OF HAPPINESS
I've been experiencing a little writers block recently. I come up with ideas, but when I try to write them down I feel like I have a million thoughts running through my head, but none that will come out with any eloquence or lucidity.
I found myself thinking about this on my daily commute this morning, trying to tease out the reasons why I've been feeling like this recently. I came to the conclusion that it started around the time I changed jobs, and began driving to work rather than catching the train.
When I used to catch the train I would read. One particular book which captured my heart, was The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutter. An intensely eye-opening and thought-provoking book, The Art of Happiness is brilliantly intelligent, yet beautifully simple in the messages it conveys. In my opinion, you must read this book before you die.
Now, I won't spoil it for you by going into too much detail, but I can honestly say that the Dalai Lama's emphasis on positive thinking, avoiding anger and selfishness, and banishing negativity, helped me to achieve a more peaceful state of mind and greater contentment. Simple acts of selflessness such as letting a driver out of a junction in rush hour traffic began to make me feel happy, and experiencing rudeness failed to anger me like it once had.
I thought about these feelings I had once experienced as I sat in traffic this morning, wondering why I had ever let the rush hour turn me into such a bitter and resentful person, often swearing and rarely offering my fellow drivers the chance to shorten their journey by slipping into queues in front of me.
So, I decided to practice again what I once read with such enjoyment. I drove with extreme courtesy for the remainder of my journey, stopping in my path to allow a woman to pull out of a side road in front of me. To see the genuine smile, signifying gratitude and happiness, spread across her face, made me feel happy. I started my day with contentment in my heart which made for less stress and therefore better productivity than usual.
So, from now on I will try to do something positive every day, be that whilst driving or otherwise, in my attempt to achieve The Art of Happiness. Maybe it will even help to budge my writers block...X