Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Treasury of Joy and Enthusiasm - Norman Vincent Peale

Norman Vincent Peale is the greatest inspirational author of all time says the back cover. I don't know how it landed up in my shelf but the book was a nice size and was easy on the eyes so I picked it up. It is filled with small interesting stories, poems, thoughts and reads like a bunch of random musings oriented towards bringing joy and enthusiasm into our lives. I will reproduce some parts that give the gist.
Orient Paperback, Rs,120, 217 p

A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition.

Also good advise on what to do to keep joy and enthusiasm high. Here goes.
Believe you can do the impossible. Try laughing when circumstances in your life make you want to cry. Act as if you possess the quality  you feel you lack. On a day when you feel you have nothing to be thankful for, write a thank you letter to someone who once made a difference in your life. Open the door to enthusiastic, joyous people.

All doable. Also pretty much what he wants you to do.

I liked this quote - If you can give your son or daughter only one gift, let it be enthusiasm. - Bruce Barton

Joy and enthusiasm are the basic ingredients for a good life. 

Being happy resulted in enhanced rhythm. Sing a song to find your rhythm. Apparently MS Dhoni does that to help him focus (find his rhythm) - he sings to himself while batting out in the middle. I used that technique once - helped.

The more deliberately we let god shoulder the heavy responsibilities of life, the more we take life calmly and with patience.

Practice enthusiasm, says he.

Advice from Norman's mother - "Learn that the world is athrill with beauty and excitement. keep yourself sensitised to it. Love the world, its beauty and its people. I do believe that anyone who is trying to consistently follow that simple advice will be blessed with abundant enthusiasm and have a life full of joy."

If you want a quality act as if you already have it. - William James.

Tell yourself the good news in bed before you get up for the day. (All the good news you wish to meet today). This was a practice that Henry Thoreau followed.

Find a need and fill it if your life seems empty and boring,

I can do all things through god who strengthens me.

Hereford cows
In dealing with obstacles he shares the story of the Hereford cows. When storms came upon the ranches all the other animals ran away until they hit a wall and then died. The Hereford cows on the other hand went towards the storm and faced it. In most cases, these cows survived.

Wednesday Worry Club
I also liked the idea of the Wednesday Worry Club. Put all the things that are seemingly without solution in a box. (In this case the person involved called the box the Wednesday Worry Club.) On Wednesday he'd pull the stuff out of the box and found almost 95% of them resolved without his knowledge. The other 5% he put back into the box.

A few lines by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
"Some of your hurt you have
And the sharpest you still have survived
But what torments or grief you endured
From evils that never arrived.?

I dare you
I also liked the 'I dare you' story. On how a weak boy who was being bullied around in school was challenged by the teacher. 'I dare you to be the fittest boy in the class.' said the teacher who refused to accept that the boy could remain like that. Dared so, the boy built his health and became the fittest in the class. Years later the boy found one of his salesmen giving up because of no sales. He dared him similarly to come back with the maximum sales that day. The salesman did.

Attitudes are more important than facts.

'You want to be happy? Then love people and trust them." - Jesus

Stories of the man who took in the juvenile delinquents and converted them with love. 'I don't care what they did. I'm only interested in what they are and what they're going to be."

The story of sending thanksgiving letters to people who have been kind to him in his life is a fine one. The teacher who receives the letter and says that it is the first letter of appreciation she ever got in her fifty five years of teaching shows how often we forget those who helped us along.

It reads like a bubbly stream. Happy, joyful, once here and once there, this book is a tiny little reminded to be joyful and enthusiastic and how being so, can change our lives. Practice joy and enthusiasm like the man who started his day wishing everyone a fine day in spite of it being gloomy and how everyone brightened up. If you can't be, pretend to be joyful and enthusiastic. Its better than your original sad and mopy face.

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