32. The Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russell

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32. The Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russell

Post  wmeisel on Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:09 am

I keep coming across people on the internet who recommend this. Russell is, of course, a wonderful philosopher to read, but this is his only foray into self-help. I should point out that I found a free copy of this by googling the title along with the magic letters "pdf."

I read this, believe it or not, as a teenager, but most of it went over my head. But it speaks to me now; I skimmed much of it, but here are some of my favorite quotes.

1. It is amazing how much both happiness and efficiency can be increased by the cultivation of an orderly mind, which thinks about a matter adequately at the right time rather than inadequately at all times.

2. My own belief is that a conscious thought can be planted into the unconscious if a sufficient amount of vigour and intensity is put into it.

3. The proper course with every kind of fear is to think about it rationally and calmly, but with great concentration, until it has become completely familiar. When you find yourself inclined to brood on anything, no matter what, the best plan is to think about it even more than you naturally would, until at last the morbid fascination is worn off.

4. Whoever wishes to increase human happiness must wish to increase admiration and to diminish envy.

5. For all this the proper cure is mental discipline, the habit of not thinking profitless thoughts.

6. The more things a man is interested in, the more opportunities of happiness he has, and the less he is at the mercy of fate, since if he loses one thing he can fall back on another.

7. One respect in which it is necessary to preserve the golden mean is as regards the balance between effort and resignation.

Recommended as something to dip into.

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