Happiness is something we all aspire to become but for those who allow the stresses of everyday life to take over their mind they will find the following extract useful from 23 Steps to Success and Achievement by Robert Lumsden.
In this section of the book, step 19, entitled Project to Project outlines reasons and benefits of keeping your mind occupied with a useful project in your life… so happy reading:
“One of the secrets of happiness is to keep busy. To launch out upon one project after another, to be planning the next before the current one is finished – this is the path to satisfying living.
Especially is the above true when we do things we really like doing. Perhaps you say, “I like doing nothing.” The author does too, but you will agree that you have enjoyed greatest satisfaction when you have been busily occupied with some worthwhile project. See to it, then, that the greatest part of your precious leisure is devoted to doing things, making things, achieving things.
It is normal and natural to be active and creative. During the long aeons of our primitive past, we filled our days with hunting or growing food, treating skins, making weapons or canoes, constructing huts, creating pottery or ornaments, engaging in tribal dances and ceremonies, placating spirits, making love and fighting,
Many modern day needs are met with little effort. It is important therefore that we keep busy by finding worthwhile projects, activities which will make demands on the mind and body, and challenge skill and ingenuity.
Remember, being busy doesn’t destroy peace of mind – it creates it! Idleness and consequent boredom are the trouble-makers. They give us time to smart under imagined grievances, chafe under emotionally-induced aches and pains, wallow in self-pity, and droop in depression and despair.
“There’s no way out of it,” writes R.A. Jackson in his unusual and delightful little book “How to Like People,” “you must have a project going, and work on it. To be a man, to have any balance at all, any fellow feeling, to have something to think and something to say, you must be working on something.”
That is good advice. Be sure to follow it. As you do so, you’ll experience the following benefits:
Your Health will Improve
As you pass your leisure occupied with satisfying projects, your general health will improve. This is because you will be happier due to the satisfying of one of your basic needs – to create. The intricate mechanisms of the body always function smoothly when the mind happy. In other words, you will now be enjoying emotionally-induced health. The killers and the disease generators are the negative emotions like jealousy, resentment, hate, envy, pessimism, worry; but you have little time, energy or desire for these when you are busy with a project.
Your Mind will keep Alert
Your most treasured possession cannot deteriorate when is kept busy grappling with project after project. Consider what is involved.
First conceiving the idea, whether it’s building a shed, making a swimming pool, raising money for charity, improving your home, painting a picture, writing a book, spring cleaning, learning a language or raising a prize chrysanthemum.
Second, the planning of the project: how long it will take, how to go about it, where to work, what materials to use, how much it will cost.
Third, the actual accomplishment of the project: wrestling with problems which arise, reading the necessary books, acquiring new skills, imposing your will on matter, and making yourself competent if not perfect.
All these make demands on mental powers and help to improve their quality.
You See Things in Truer Perspective
Doing things you like doing is therapeutic in the extreme. You face life’s problems so much more sanely and surely when you have plenty of recreational activity. Boring chores, heart-breaking duties, daily tasks, never seem quite so bad when you return to them after a spell on a satisfying project. You see then that woes and afflictions and duties are only a part of life. There is spring as well as winter.
What is more, keeping busy on a project helps you to recover from life’s calamities. While hands and mind are busily employed, wounds heal. Time carries out its blessed therapy, and self-pity is kept at bay. So next time life hurts you, turn to some absorbing project without delay.
You are Easier to Live With
The joys of creativity will shed a golden aura over your whole personality. You will be less irascible, better balanced, more fun-loving, more relaxed. Achievement and genuine effort will make you feel rightly proud of yourself, and self-respect, as pointed out elsewhere, makes it easier to like others. A virtuous circle is initiated. And of course, your very achievements will also earn you respect.
Keeping busy with projects increases your zest for living; it will put a sparkle in your eye and a spring in your step. You’ll always have something to talk about, something to hurry home to, something to anticipate.
Another welcome by-product is increased self-confidence. You become a smiler and a winner. You fall in love with life.
Examine your present way of living. Are you a project person? What are you working on now? What do you plan to do next? If you cannot give positive answers, get launched on some project with the minimum delay. Once you have tasted the joys of project-living, you will adopt it as a way of life and never depart from it.“
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