GATEWAY TO HAPPINESS
PREFACE Happiness is a skill that can be learned. The essential factor whether or not you will live a happy life is not based so much on external factors such as wealth, success, or fame. Rather happiness is based on your thoughts towards life, towards yourself, towards other people, and towards events and situation. Regardless of how you have viewed these areas in the past, you can presently change your thoughts and master the attribute of happiness.
Rabbainu Yonah (Shaarey Tshuvah 3:54) wrote that we are obligated to make an effort to offer sound and appropriate advice to others. He added that this is one of the essential aspects of performing acts of kindness.
My goal in this condensed edition is to offer practical advice that can personally help some readers, and to supply tools useful for those in the helping professions.
Almost everyone is sometimes needlessly sad, angry, or worried. Any normal person has the ability to minimize both the frequency and intensity of negative emotions. The advice suggested in this book has proven itself to be beneficial in alleviating unnecessary suffering and promoting a positive outlook on life.
Most of the source material in this book is from Torah literature that I have translated into English from the original Hebrew. I have selected some of the main ideas that appeared in the larger first edition published in 1983. This condensed version is not meant to be an exhaustive study.
Following some of the citations, I have elaborated on the themes expressed by those scholars. Some of the ideas without a source are original and others were adapted and integrated from many sources.
Every person is unique and a book of this type is not tailor-made for an exact fit for any specific reader. Focus on the ideas you personally find beneficial. The subjects dealt with here require a lifetime of study and effort to implement. Patience and perseverance are necessary for mastering them.