The purpose of our lives is happiness.
I’m currently re-reading The Art of Happiness by Howard Cutler, and thought to share some excerpts+reflections from the book:
What is truly of value in your life? what gives meaning to your life and set your priorities on the basis of this.
The firm resolve, the turning-toward happiness as a valid goal and the conscious decision to seek happiness in a systematic manner can profoundly change the rest of our lives.
Approaching our daily decisions and choices with this question in mind shifts the focus from what we are denying ourselves to what we are seeking. To a kind of happiness that is stable and persistent. A state of happiness that remains, despite life’s ups and downs and normal fluctuations of mood, as part of the very matrix of our being. With this perspective it is easier to make the right decision because we are acting to give ourselves something not denying or withholding something from ourselves–an attitude of moving forward rather than moving away, an attitude of embracing life rather than rejecting it.
The underlying sense of moving toward happiness has a profound effect, making us more receptive, more open, to the joy of living. The purpose of our lives need to be positive. For our life to be of value, we must develop basic good human qualities-warmth, kindness, compassion in order to strive for a more meaningful and more peaceful, happier existence.
I am progressing forward, day by day. It gets better every day. Just feeling the lively organic progressive struggle forward is in itself a feat. Every minute in this body and brain is something precious. There is no guarantee that tomorrow at this time we will be here. But still we are working for that purely on the basis of hope. The proper utilization of time is so important in this case. With any pivotal decisions I am faced with in life, I want to make the choice I firmly and truly believe in emotionally and practically, unclouded by the opinions pressures and voices of others. I am learning to accept myself, the whole me. Learning to and accepting the things which I cannot change. Learning patience, calming the mind, being aware of thoughts, re-framing re-contextualizing problems, practicing being a good listener. The basics of life, the things I overlooked before out of ignorance and mundanity. However, I sometimes find it hard to fully understand the concept that true change takes time. Because ideally we always want to see results as fast as possible. I’ve noticed now that the thing I am most afraid of is certainty.
There is a world of beauty in not knowing, in not seeing the parameters of the sandbox even if it is there.
My father just finished painting the Bodhisattva Manjusri thangka for me today, pictured above. What a wonderful and thoughtful gift,
I look forward to treasuring and taking it with me wherever I go in life.