I'm currently reading 'The Art of Happiness' by the Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler. The authors explore the concepts that the purpose of life is happiness, that happiness is determined more by the state of one's mind then by one's external conditions, or events -- at least once one's basic survival needs are met -- and that happiness can be achieved through the systematic training of our hearts and minds, through reshaping our attitudes and outlook.

Basically, they contend that happiness is in our own hands.

True enough, these concepts are a fundamental part of the Buddhist religion. However, I believe they are also an innate part of man's nature that go back to the beginning of humankind -- long before The Buddha, Confucius, Abraham, Jesus Christ or Mohammed.

When I was in my early 20s I frequently read books and listened to tapes of the most prominent self-help gurus of the time. I would go to sleep at night reading or listening to the words of Earl Nightingale, Wayne Dreyer, and others who promoted these very concepts. Now, all these years later, reading 'The Art of Happiness' reminds me of how good it feels to be reminded of these concepts all over again.

I urge anyone who wants a little pick-me-up to recharge or retool their state of mental well-being, to consider reading 'The Art of Happiness'.

Note: Video is of an interview with the Dalai Lama by Barbara Walters, which aired on ABC.


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