The art of happiness

Have you ever wondered what makes our day count and our life become meaningful everyday we wake up? Has ever the purpose of life came across your mind? Happiness is a abstract word. Even the word is deprived from the Icelandic word happ, which means luck or chance, so how can we create something when that thing itself is somehow vague?

Happiness actually depends mostly on our thoughts and attitudes.

happiness depends on ourselves

As Aristotle said Happiness depends on ourselves, “The art of happiness” also states that happiness can be reached through training the mind. Happiness is determined more by one’s state of mind than by external events. The book can ease readers’ mind. For those who are seeking roads to happiness, ” The art of happiness” is worth reading.


The art of happiness is written by HH Dalai Lama, who won Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 and Howard C. Cutler, who runs a psychiatric practice in Arizona.

The book combines the Dalai Lama’s eastern spiritual tradition with Dr Howard C. Cutler’s western perspectives. As ” an intriguing encounter between East and West” ( Mail on Sunday), The art of happiness covers opinions on dealing with everyday human problems and leading a happier life. The book consists of 15 chapters, which focuses on discussing the purpose of life, human warmth & compassion, suffering transformation, obstacles overcoming, and reflection on living a spiritual life.

Below are few quotations from the book.

think positive

Our purpose in life should be positive.

“Sometimes when I meet old friends, it reminds me how quickly time passes. And it makes me wonder if we’ve utilized our time properly or not. Proper utilization of time is so important. While we have this body, and especially this amazing human brain, I think every minute is something precious. Our day-to-day existence is very much alive with hope, although there is no guarantee of our future. There is no guarantee that tomorrow at this time we will be here. But we are working for that purely on the basis of hope. So, we need to make the best use of our time. I believe that the proper utilization of time is this: if you can, serve other people, other sentient beings. If not, at least refrain from harming them. I think that is the whole basis of my philosophy.

So, let us reflect what is truly of value in life, what gives meaning to our lives, and set our priorities on the basis of that. The purpose of our life needs to be positive. We weren’t born with the purpose of causing trouble, harming others. For our life to be of value, I think we must develop basic good human qualities—warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful—happier.


When life becomes too complicated and we feel overwhelmed, it’s often useful just to stand back and remind ourselves of our overall purpose, our overall goal. When faced with a feeling of stagnation and confusion, it may be helpful to take an hour, an afternoon, or even several days to simply reflect on what it is that will truly bring us happiness, and then reset our priorities on the basis of that. This can put our life back in proper context, allow a fresh perspective, and enable us to see which direction to take

A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering

A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.

Although you may not always be able to avoid difficult situations,you can modify the extent to which you can suffer by how you choose to respond to the situation.

take a smile

24 thoughts on “The art of happiness

    • Linh Tran July 10, 2015 / 6:13 pm

      Thanks for your comment 🙂 I’m glad that you love it 😀


  1. Khristine July 11, 2015 / 7:58 pm

    Linh I read this book I think a decade ago. And this has influenced me a lot. So many inspiring lessons from Dalai Lama : )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linh Tran July 11, 2015 / 8:01 pm

      Yah, I agree 😀 The name of the book says it all. It’s truly a handbook for living 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. sonniq July 13, 2015 / 7:19 pm

    I am a Nichiren Buddhist – for a long time. Although there are many differences, what we study and why, the underlying message is all the same – how to be happy. There isn’t one road to happiness, but when I see so many unhappy people out there it’s easy to see that whatever they believe in must not be working

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linh Tran July 14, 2015 / 2:20 pm

      Thank you :). Hope to see more posts written in English from The Little Clay Cart 🙂


      • Shiva Acharya July 14, 2015 / 8:33 pm

        I will definitely post something new on my blog soon (of course in English)… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. JoDoran (Recniky) July 21, 2015 / 6:19 am

    Thank you for sharing these quotes, Linh! I was lucky enough to attend a talk given by the Dalai Lama at Purdue University – and to sit three rows away from him. He was amazing… such an aura of peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Linh Tran July 21, 2015 / 7:12 pm

    Yah, he’s truly amazing. No wonder he received Nobel Peace Prize 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. gchan7127 July 22, 2015 / 5:15 am

    Thank you for sharing! I love this post. There is no guarantee. We must live each day fully ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Destination Enlightenment July 22, 2015 / 6:37 pm

    I read this book many years ago. I enjoyed it greatly as well as your post. The Buddhist and Zen principles have taught me happiness through cultivating a peaceful center. For me, happiness is multi-facated. It means living a content life with peaks of joy and the ability to cope with the valleys with a sense of peace. That is my definition of true happiness:-). I look forward to reading more!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linh Tran July 23, 2015 / 1:16 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment ❤ I'm glad that you like it 🙂


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