Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Keys to happiness: Alexander Solzhenitsyn quote

"A man is happy so long as he chooses to be happy and nothing can stop him."

Alexander Solzhenitsyn


Pat Jenkins said...

this quote brings up a great topic incog. how much of our joy, success, peace do we ourselves have control over with our thoughts. many pastors , joel olsten being one, along with many psychatrists advocate a "mind over matter" approach. what say you?

Incognito said...

Absolutely Pat, I firmly believe we hold the key to our own happiness. I'll be writing more about that in future posts, but at the root of it all is how we view what happens in our lives. We can either deem it negative or positive and therein lies either happiness or pain.

And if we look look to outer things (the material things in life) to bring us happiness then we are doomed to ride the rollercoaster of emotions that is life. The Buddhists believe that it is our attachment to (material) desires that is the root cause of all pain. So that when those desires are not fulfilled or taken away from us, we are devastated.

Basically, if we look to God first then all things fall into place. And we definitely have control over that.

Frasier said...

I need to remind myself of this when I feel gloomy and dont make the effort to drag myself out of the doldrums !

Pat Jenkins said...

yes incog buddhisim would advocate the reliquishing of material desire. and there may be some truth to that. but it may also be impossible. part of being human is having the emotion of want or need. now i am talking in the purist sense, not selfish driven gain. to ask someone not to desire does take away part of his or her humanity. absolving yourself of the material may not end all hurt, it may cause more for that that which is in the heart would not be met.

Incognito said...

Yes, Poo, it really is a choice to either indulge the "moods" or refuse to give in to them. Not always an easy task, but very do-able, partic. if you nip it in the bud.

Incognito said...

It's actually not as impossible as you think. It really depends on what you consider "desire". And it's actually the 'attachment' to those desires that gets one in trouble. In other words, if you can desire something without being attached to the outcome, then I suppose you'd have no problems.

But, I think if you truly give yourself over to God's Will, then you have no need for desire, because all your needs are me, and you know whatever happens is for the best. For example, I used to audition for certain projects and have an intense desire to book them some of them. When I didn't get cast it would throw me into a tail spin of depression. Those that I desired I rarely got, the ones I could care less about I booked.

I now audition with no desire attached to any particular project. So when i audition, I just do my best and let go, knowing that if God wants me to do that project I will. This way I don't have the disappointment of not getting cast. Makes life a lot simpler and less painful. :-)

Don't know if that makes sense.. but..