Izzie Osiniecka

Psych 401


The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler

            The Art of Happiness is a book written by a Western Psychologist, with help from the Dalai Lama, as a guide for changing your life in order to increase your happiness. This book presents Easter thinking in a way that Westerners, and really all humans, can understand. I think this is a book that everyone should read. The path to happiness really creates a better world for all, because at the core of happiness is compassion towards others. The Dalai Lama teaches us that we can connect to all humans in the sense that we share the similarities of being human, wanting to be happy, and not wanting to suffer. Dr. Cutler provides many ways for us to bring about the change necessary for personal growth and happiness, as well as ways to deal with various situations that can threaten our happiness.

The book is filled with many great lessons, and I will cover only a few here. First of all, the steps to make positive changes in your life are as follows: listening, conviction, determination, action, and effort. Through these, you can achieve any change you want to make. Dr. Cutler also notes that there are studies showing that more educated people tend to be happier, so as college students, we are already on the right path. Furthermore, as mentioned about, compassion towards others is a key component; how we treat others, how we act towards them, is very important. Regularly helping others will increase our happiness, and even if we at first do not care about the people we are helping, after a while our attitudes will change to match our behaviors. Dr. Cutler also included lessons on smaller, ever day happenings. One example is that if you are angry with someone, you should try to think of the positive qualities that person or the event surrounding the person possesses. It may be hard at first, but no person or situation is 100% evil. Focusing on the positive qualities will qualm your anger and bring you back to your path of happiness.

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