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GATEWAY TO HAPPINESS

new ways of thinking become automatic. Even an expert at thinking in a positive manner will most likely be needlessly unhappy occasionally. Expecting perfection is unreasonable and counterproductive.

If you demand to be happy every single moment, you are likely to feel needlessly anxious and guilty when you do feel unhappy. Complete mastery over one’s thoughts is an unrealistic goal. But everyone can improve and this is what we should strive for. Accept any lapses as normal and calmly continue increasing your happiness-producing thoughts.

As you acquire the habit of thinking in a positive manner, your general mood will change for the better.

1.10 Selfish happiness is a fault “The type of joy that is a mitzvah (good deed) is the joy you share with those less fortunate such as orphans, widows, those without a family and poor people. If, however, someone closes his doors to others and only utilizes what he has for himself and his immediate family without helping the poor and the unfortunate, his joy is not the joy of a mitzvah, but joy of the stomach. Such joy is a badge of shame. (Rambam - Maimonides 1135-1204 Hilchos Yom Tov 6:18)

1.11 Influencing others to be happy. If you see someone who looks unhappy, the first thing to do is to try to empathize with his suffering. Try to understand what is bothering him. At times this can be quite difficult since he himself might not be totally aware of what exactly is bothering him, or he might be embarrassed to tell you. Subtly and tactfully try to influence him to have a more optimistic view of life. If done successfully, this is a great act of kindness.

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HAPPINESS IS AN OBLIGATION

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