Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Secret To Happiness Is...

          "... low expectation."

"Good Reads" Thoreau Quotations

NPR now collaborates with TED to feature segments of previous TED Talks interspersed with "live" interview. 

Check out the Barry Schwartz's TED radio segment, "The Pursuit of Happiness."

There are three basic attitudes toward life: "More," "Enough" and "Less."

When "More" becomes a continual source of dissatisfaction, happiness is diminished and often destroyed.


As the following quotations illustrate, Thoreau was the first American to realize the indispensable value of minimalism:

"My greatest skill has been to want but little."  

"It is the greatest of all advantages to enjoy no advantage at all. I found it invariably true, the poorer I am the richer I am." 

 “Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.” 

"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! We are happy in proportion to the things we can do without."

As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.

There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of his life getting his living.   "Life Without Principle"

Men have become the tools of their tools.

"God himself culminates in the present moment, and will never be more divine in the lapse of all the ages. And we are enabled to apprehend at all what is sublime and noble only by the perpetual instilling and drenching of the reality which surrounds us. The universe constantly and obediently answers to our conceptions.  "Walden; or, Life in the Woods, Where I Lived, and What I Lived"

He who gives himself entirely to his fellow men appears to them useless and selfish; but he who gives himself partially to them in pronounced a benefactor and philanthropist. Civil Disobedience

An efficient and valuable man does what he can, whether the community pay him for it or not. The inefficient offer their inefficiency to the highest bidder, and are forever expecting to be put in office. 

Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.   Civil Disobedience

“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” 

 “ yourself- not your idea of what you think somebody else's idea of yourself should be.” 

“Not till we are completely lost or turned around... do we begin to find ourselves.”

Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.

Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.” 
“Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, to life itself than this incessant business.” 

He will get to the goal first who stands stillest.

(Blaise Pascal: "Most of humankind's problems arise from the inability to sit still in a room.")

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. 

Thoreau House Replica

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