A contented mind is a continual feast. Greed and material desires must be curbed to achieve lasting happiness and serenity. Be happy with what you have. Do you really need all of those material possessions? One can develop contentment just as one develops patience, courage and concentration – with daily practice and sincere desire.
Make a new friend or acquaintance every day. Keep an updated list of all contacts close at hand. Rich relationships are the DNA of a rich, rewarding life.
Remember this ancient Indian proverb: “if you conquer your mind, you conquer the world.”
Place greater importance on staying happy than amassing material possessions. A zest for life is developed and carefully nurtured through thoughtful activities and pursuits.
Contrary to popular opinion, stress is not a bad thing. It allows us to perform at peak levels and can assist us through the flood of chemicals it releases within our bodies. What is harmful is too much stress, or more particularly, a lack of relief from stress. The times of stress must be balanced nicely with times of pure relaxation and leisure for us to be healthy and at our best. Many of the great leaders of our time were exposed to crushing workloads and the burdens of high office. But they prospered by developing strategies to balance the challenging times with fun and calming times. President Kennedy would have regular naps in his White House office. Winston Churchill had the same practice and slept for one hour every afternoon to stay alert, focused and calm. Not only is it essential to be physically relaxed to maintain optimal health but one must couple this trait with mental serenity. Too often people think that vigorous exercise, good nutrition and pleasant leisure activities will be the panacea for all ills. These pursuits must be combined with positive thinking and peace of mind for true happiness and longevity.
Get into the habit of taking mental vacations throughout the day. Visit Bermuda for five minutes in the morning. Visualize a swim in the Mediterranean in the afternoon and skiing down the slopes of the Alps just before you head for home at the end of your busy and productive day. Try this for two months and schedule these rest periods into your agenda just as you would your essential meetings or tasks. The rewards will be significant.
A change is as good as a rest. Whether this change is as major as a change of employment or as minor as a leisure pursuit which occupies your entire attention for an hour three times a week, these changes in routine, and mindset are entirely beneficial. In selecting the activity, try to find something totally engaging which requires deep concentration so that your mind is free from the mundane but seemingly important aspects of your day. Many executives are becoming involved in the martial arts for just this reason. If your mind wanders for even a split second, a harsh lesson is soon learned. Pain is a great motivator and always will be.
Study these 10 fundamentals of happiness:
i. Pursue a productive, exciting and active life.
ii. Engage in meaningful activities every minute of every day.
iii. Develop an organized, planned lifestyle with little chaos.
iv. Set realistic goals yet keep your mark high.
v. Think positively – you cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought.
vi. Avoid needless worry over trifling matters.
vii. Devote time to fun.
viii. Develop a warm, outgoing personality with a sincere love of people.
ix. Get in the habit of giving more than receiving.
x. Learn to live in the present. The past is water under the bridge of life.
Strive to be humble and live a simple life.
Read “A History of Knowledge” by Charles Van Doren which chronicles the history of the world’s ideas. In this one book is an absolute wealth of knowledge. Get it, read it and enjoy it.