When we think about life’s ultimate pursuit, one word invariably comes to mind: happiness. The pursuit of happiness has been a constant throughout human history, driving individuals, societies, and cultures to explore the depths of human experience. The Secret of Happiness Summary encapsulates a myriad of perspectives, strategies, and wisdom that have been passed down through generations.
Secret of Happiness Summary
Secret of Happiness Introduction:
In this chapter, the author tells us how we can gain success in our life. He says that we should realize our powers. He says that an average man uses only twenty percent of his mental powers. Every man has a big store of unused powers. If he can use this power, he will be able to master all circumstances. Fear is one of the biggest enemies of man. If we wish to become adept in the art of living, we must learn to conquer our fears. We should have faith in ourselves. If we have faith in ourselves, we can be free from every fear. And then we shall have total peace of mind.
Secret of Happiness Summary & Translation in English
Dynamics of Self-Realization
The greatest day in any individual’s life is when he begins for the first time to realize himself. It happened to a college student friend of mine once with dramatic suddenness. He was as unsuccessful in his studies as he was efficient upon the athletic field. Destiny, however, has its own strange ways. One day in a class in Psychology, our student friend suddenly became enthralled as the professor described how the average man fails because he does not learn to control and consolidate his powers. He used the familiar illustration of the burning glass. The rays of the sun, falling upon a piece of paper, have little effect. Let them, however, be drawn by the burning glass to a focus and they create an intense heat which will quickly burn a hole in the paper.
The professor pointed out that the man who succeeds is the one who can draw his dissipated and therefore futile powers to a focus . Our student said that in a flashing illumination he saw the cause of his own failure and oblivious of all in the room and under the spell of a veritable new birth leaped to his feet, crying, “I see it; I see it.” What had happened ? He had met himself, a new self, his real self, which he never before had seen and the revelation changed him from a failure to a potential success, the possibilities of which were later abundantly realized. He was now a grand success in whatever he chose to do.
You Are Greater than You Think.
In his famous address on ‘The Energies of Men’, William James, a geat psychologist, said, “Men habitually use only a small part of the powers which they possess and which they might use under appropriate circumstances.” A scientist is reported recently to have said that the average man uses but twenty percent of his brain power. When you think of some people, that sounds like optimism. Think of it – you are using, if you are an average person, only one fifth of your mental capacity.
Consider what you could make of life if you increased that by only fifty percent. In the personality of every individual there is a great reservoir of unused power. But in many of us just a miserable little trickle is getting through, and on that we live and do our work. The great secret of life is to put a key into the lock, turn back the sluice gates and let that power, like a terrific stream, flow into your mind and personality. It will transform you into a person of strength and effectiveness,well able to meet and master all circumstances. The important thing to emphasize is that it is a source of inward power by which weak personalities can become strong; divided personalities can become unified; hurt minds can be healed; and the secret of peace and poise attained.
The Escape from Fear
A British publishing house issued, some years ago, a volume of sermons, under the title, If I Could Preach Only Once. One of these sermons was by Gilbert Chesterton, “If I had only one sermon to preach,” Chesterton declared, “it would be sermon against fear.”
Why should this eminent man of letters 11 single out so ordinary an adversary? First of all, because fear is one of man’s most common enemies. It touches every one of us in some way. Many people, for example, have financial fears. We have fears of ill health, anticipating the direful consequences of being overtaken by some bodily affliction. We allow ourselves to be made miserable by fear of what the future holds or fears of the consequences of past acts and decisions. Fears of one kind and another haunt us and cast a shadow over our happiness.
No person is at his best or in full control of his powers if he is the victim of fear. In many ways fear lays its paralyzing hand upon an individual and becomes a chief obstacle to the full development of personality and to the achievement of success in life. The person who wishes to become adept in the art of living must learn to conquer and subdue his fears.
This is a problem common to us all, and I want to state at the outset the encouraging fact that any and every individual can escape from fear. Remember this, however, only you can conquer your fears. Others may help you but ultimately you must do it yourself. The first step and, for that matter, a large part of the campaign against one’s fears is to get a complete and thorough. going knowledge of them. Bring them out into the light of day and watch them shrivel up.
A fear is not unlike a ghost. It frightens you in the gloom, but there isn’t much to it when you get it into the light. Most of the things one fears never happen; at least they do not amount to anything. As one frog in a pond may sound like a hundred when one is trying to sleep, so one little fact may be enlarged by mental fear and distorted imaging out of all proportion to its real size.
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Once in a lonely cabin1 on a dark night, deep in the North Woods, I heard on the porch noises that sent a shiver up my spine. It sounded like the cautious approach of several intruders. I sat transfixed , rooted to my chair, with every hair seemingly standing on end. Newspaper accounts of a recent murder in that section flashed across my mind. This is the end, I thought, but I was far from being prepared to die. I didn’t want to die; I wanted to get out of there.
Finally, unable to stand the suspense longer and desperation lending bravado,leaped to the door and flung it open, expecting to see a whole array of gangsters with machine guns and pistols. Instead, a little chipmunk scurried off into the darkness, leaving me limp and mortified but yet the learner of a great lesson, namely, that it is very salutary to get a good look at your fears, and that when you do, they are much less impressive than you had imagined them to be.
Faith in God
A great Japanese, Kagawa, a preacher and social worker, once visited our country. Everyone noted that he carried about himself a sense of peace and poise, an inner strength and confidence that was truly remarkable. Kagawa had discovered a priceless secret, and he gave us his secret by saying, that if one will do as he did, ‘immerse oneself over a long period in the grace of God’, one will enter into a profound calm that nothing can destroy. Kagawa said that encountering mobs, threatened by soldiers, hurt by opponents, the calm never left him. His eyesight was threatened; disease afflicted him; but he never lost his calm. He testified that he was often amazed by the depth of this peace. This he assured us he had found in God. In that relationship he lost all his fears.
There is the real escape from fear. Get a deep, unshakable faith in the fact that you are not alone, but that God watches over you and cares for you and will bring you through all difficulties. Then you will have total peace of mind. Confidence, not fear, will be yours forever.