GATEWAY TO HAPPINESS
No two people read the exact same book. Moreover, even the same person never reads the exact same book twice. When we read or hear something, we automatically react with our uniquely individualistic prior life experiences, knowledge, personality, and attitudes. In these areas, even two people who are similar have many differences. The second time we read the same book, we are different, either slightly or significantly, than we were the first time we read it The exact same thought strikes us in a different light. Each time you reread this, you will gain in some way.
Human beings are complex and there are many factors of prior conditioning in every individual’s personal history that will evoke distressful feelings. Also, our physiological state (chemical balance, general health, fatigue, etc.) influences our moods. Hence, is it unrealistic to assume that by reading this book and integrating the ideas, you will be totally in control of your emotions. Everyone can have a large degree of control, accept any lapses as normal (don’t be sad that you feel sad), and continue to strive for improvement.
There is a context to every idea. In a dialogue, a speaker can elaborate on the limitations and qualifications of his ideas, which he readily admits are part and parcel of the original statements. Readers should take this into account and refrain from prematurely dismissing ideas that could possibly be of great value to them.
There are two types of readers. One looks at ideas and tries to find situations and places when they will not apply. He might be right. But he will miss out on the potential gain he could have had if his focus were on finding when the ideas would apply. The other type of reader keeps asking, “How can I apply this in my own life or to help others?” It is to this type of reader that I address this book.
Reading this book will not make you happy. The only thing that can make you happy is your own mind. To master happiness you will have to internalize the ideas presented here and that is up to you. If the perspectives and concepts presented here are foreign to your way of thinking, you will have to decide, “Am I willing to change my attitudes or do I want to stay the way I am?” If you wish to change your attitudes, you might have to review these ideas many times before they will become part of your automatic way of thinking.