The first book I came across, that dealt with the subject of human experience & practical philosophy, is a book from 1905. The name of the book is “The Art of Being Happy – And Other Unsettled Petitions” I found it in the garage when I was about 16 years old and dusted it off… it caught my attention because of the title… Happy… I thought… I wanted to know more about that..
This single, unassuming little book, written by a Swedish man called Gustaf Landin, completely unknown today… written more than 100 years ago in super old fashioned language, was one of the early steps that got me on the journey of knowing myself better.
It taught me the importance of self-education & reading heroic literature.
It taught me the basic ideas of Stoicism, and introduced me to, the truly liberating idea that we are always free to choose how we respond to any circumstances, and that this is where are true power lies. Our power to learn, grow & suffer with dignity.
The book sort of got the ball rolling…
I guess Im sharing this because… I want to tell you how the simple act of opening your mind to new ideas & philosophies can truly change your life.
And… it all starts with that one single step.
It all starts with that one seed, that one idea, that resonated with your experience of life, what you’ve gone through, and that lifts your awareness, brings some empowering perspective perhaps…
What do I want to say with this…?
Well… It’s simply an encouragement to read, study, learn. Apply what you learn, try it out and get feedback by life (a.k.a. “failure”). Your life will never be the same.
The changes can be subtle, but don’t despise them… Celebrate them.
Focus on what you can control…
I will end with this gem by Arthur Ashe
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
Have you had a book, film, event or person in your life that you can look back on and say:
That made a big difference…
What was that, who was that? What did it open up to you? Let me know! Im curious.
Wish you the very best,
ps. Another takeaway from my story is this…
If you are a parent who’s struggling with a child whose experiencing difficult times, or do you simple want your child to be able to find hope & be able to take their journey of choosing the life they want to live… Do this: Have a lot of inspiring & empowering books in your home… Books on how to overcome different struggles, books that has meant a lot to you… Liberating truths about our potential & in general, encouraging, practical, wise literature… The possibility of your child picking up a book and finding a deep sense of growing hope, is far more likely if you do this…
“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
– A saying from the Zen Tradition