GATEWAY TO HAPPINESS
learned. Like any other skill it takes sufficient practice to become efficient at it. It is helpful to write down your negative thoughts and then write down positive ways of looking at the event or situation.
3.7 Look at life from the perspective of death. The best way to gain a perspective about life is to visit a cemetery. (Chayai Hamussar, vol. 2, p.176)
Rabbi Nachum of Huradna used to say, “If I had already died and the Almighty told me I could come back to life again, imagine how happy I would be. Now that I am still alive, I should feel that same joy.” (Chayai Hamussar, p.200)
A spiritual perspective of events.
Living with a spiritual perspective means that we view all that happens to us
throughout the day as being for our ultimate good. Imagine a day when everything went well for you. Every conversation and transaction with others went exactly as you would have wished. All the hundreds of daily tasks and routines you engaged in worked out to your complete satisfaction. How would you feel? Extremely happy, of course. You would most probably be in such a good mood by the end of the day that trivial irritants would not bother you in the least.
2. When you first hear of a new way of looking at things, it will usually not become an integrated part of your perspective right away. The more you repeat these ideas the more they will become part of you.
3. Every aspect of our lives is a challenge and test (Mesilas Yeshorim, ch.1) With this perspective, life will never be boring or mundane. Every single situation and occurrence is different from every other one and each is an opportunity for elevation and growth.
When you have awareness that a situation or occurrence is a test, you will find it much easier to deal with. To illustrate this concept, imagine that you went for a job interview and the potential employer should an insult at you. You would most probably feel either upset or angry. But if someone told you in advance that this employer shouts at job candidates to test their reaction to stress, you would find it easy to remain calm. You realize it is just a test and it is in your best interests for pass it. That is how we can view each event and situation. It is a test of our spiritual strength and courage, and we can look forward to passing it.
HAPPINESS IS DEPENDENT ON YOUR THOUGHTS