GATEWAY TO HAPPINESS
There are three questions to ask yourself that will make the difference between just reading the book and actually developing greater happiness.
Do I agree with this?
What are the consequences of accepting it?
What will I do about it?
Many important concepts for living sound quite simple and obvious in a classroom situation, but are often overlooked by even highly intelligent individuals. This causes them many needless difficulties. This book is to serve as a reminder for many ideas that you already know, but find yourself forgetting.
A book on the subject of happiness has its limitations. Sad people tend to think irrationally, and in order to change their thinking to a more positive direction, they need to be aware of what they are presently thinking and how to change it. In a personal dialogue this is frequently accomplished more effectively then in a book. I would suggest that seriously sad, nervous, or hot-tempered individuals consult a competent counselor. (At times medical problems are at the root of a person’s negative feelings. If you have a suspicion that you might be ill, see a physician.)
I am profoundly grateful to all the many Torah scholars whose lectures and personal discussions have made this work possible. I attended scores of lectures of Rabbi Chayim Shmuelevitz, the late head of Mirrer Yeshiva. His emphasis on how one creates one’s own emotional world has been the cornerstone of this work.
I am grateful to the late Rabbi Avigdor Miller, originally from Baltimore, for instilling within me a deeper appreciation of the wonders of Creation.
I am grateful to Rabbi Noah Weinberg of Aish Hatorah for placing an emphasis on the importance of happiness in our lives.
I am grateful to Lionel Ketchian for being the founder of the first Happiness Club on our planet. His decision to consistently choose happiness as a way of being is a great role model for everyone else. May his dream of having happiness clubs in every town and village become a reality.
If you are going to read just one chapter, I recommend that you read chapter three: Happiness is dependent on your thoughts.