Monday, 7 October 2019

Secret of Happiness

                             Secret of Happiness


Secret of Happiness

[N.V. Peale is an author with a positive message in life. He has written several books in an attempt to teach people the Art of Living. The present extract has been culled from his book The New Art of Living.]

I Dynamics of Self-Realization
The greatest day in any individual’s life is when he begins for the first time to realize himself. It happened to
 a college student friend of mine once with dramatic suddenness. He was as unsuccessful in his studies as he
was efficient upon the athletic field. Destiny, however, has its own strange ways. One day in a class in Psychology, our student friend suddenly became enthralled as the professor described how the average man fails because he does not learn to control and consolidate his powers. He used the familiar illustration of the burning glass. The rays of the sun, falling upon a piece of paper, have little effect. Let them, however, be drawn by the burning glass to a focus and they create an intense heat which will quickly burn a hole in the paper.
The professor pointed out that the man who succeeds is the one who can draw his dissipated and therefore futile powers to a focus. Our student said that in a flashing illumination he saw the cause of his own failure and oblivious of all in the room and under the spell of a veritable new birth leaped to his feet, crying, “I see it ; I see it” What had happened ? He had met himself, a new self, his real self, which he never before had seen and the
revelation changed him from a failure to a potential success, the possibilities of which were later abundantly realized. He was now a grand success in whatever he chose to do.
II You are Greater than you Think
In his famous address on “The Energies of Men” William James, a great psychologist, said, “Men habitually use only a small part of the powers which they possess and which they might use under appropriate circumstances.” A scientist is reported recently to have said that the average man uses but twenty per cent of his brain power. When you think of some people that sounds like optimism. Think of it–you are using, if you are an average person, only one fifth of your mental capacity. Consider what you could make of life if you increased that by only fifty per cent. In the personality of every individual there is a great reservoir of unused power. But in many of us just a miserable little trickle is getting through, and on that we live and do our work. The great secret of life is to put a key into the lock, turn back the sluice gates and let that power, like a terrific stream, flow into your mind and personality. It will transform you into a person of strength and effectiveness, well able to meet and master all circumstances. The important thing to emphasize is that it is a source of inward power by which weak personalities can become strong; divided personalities can become unified; hurt minds can be healed ; and the secret of peace and poise attained.

III The Escape from Fear
A British publishing house issued, some years ago, a volume of sermons, under the title, If I Could Preach Only Once. One of these sermons was by Gilbert Chesterton. “If I had only one sermon to preach.” Chesterton declared, “it would be sermon against fear.” Why should this eminent man of letters single out so ordinary an adversary? First of all, because fear is one of man’s most common enemies. It touches every one of us in some way. Many people, for example, have financial fears. We have fears of ill health, anticipating the direful consequences of being overtaken by some bodily affliction. We allow ourselves to be made miserable by fear of what the future holds or fears of the consequences of past acts and decisions. Fears of one kind and another haunt us and cast a shadow over our happiness. No person is at his best or in full control of his powers if he is the victim of fear. In many ways fear lays its paralyzing hand upon an individual and becomes a chief obstacle to the full development of personality and to the achievement of success in life. The person who wishes to become adept in the art of living must learn to conquer and subdue his fears. This is a problem common to us all, and I want to state at the outset the encouraging fact that any and every individual can escape from fear. Remember this, however –only you can conquer your fears. Others may help you but ultimately you must do it yourself. The first step and, for that matter, a large part of the campaign against one’s fears is to get a complete and thoroughgoing knowledge of them. Bring them out into the light of day and watch them shrivel up. A fear is not unlike a ghost. It frightens you in the gloom, but there isn’t much to it when you get it into the light. Most of the things one fears never happen; at least they do not amount to anything. As one frog in a pond may sound like a hundred when one is trying to sleep, so one little fact may be enlarged by mental fear and distorted imaging out of all proportion to its real size. Once in a lonely cabin on a dark night, deep in the North Woods, I heard on the porch noises that sent a shiver up my spine. It sounded like the cautious approach of several intruders. I sat transfixed, rooted to my chair, with every hair seemingly standing on end. Newspaper accounts of a recent murder in that section flashed across my mind. This is the end, I thought, but I was far from being prepared to die. I didn’t want to die; I wanted to get out of there. Finally, unable to stand the suspense longer and desperation lending bravado, I leaped to the door and flung it open, expecting to see a whole array of gangsters with machine guns and pistols. Instead, a little chipmunk scurried off into the darkness, leaving me limp and mortified but yet the learner of a great lesson, namely, that it is very salutary to get a good look at your fears, and that when you do, they are much less impressive than you had imagined them to be.

IV Faith in Him
A great Japanese, Kagawa, a preacher and social worker, once visited our country. Everyone noted that he carried about himself a sense of peace and poise, an inner strength and confidence that was truly remarkable. Kagawa had discovered a priceless secret, and he gave us his secret by saying that if one will do as he did, “immerse himself over a long period in the grace of God,” he will enter into a profound calm that nothing can destroy. Kagawa said that encountering mobs, threatened by soldiers, hurt by opponents, the calm never left him. His eyesight was threatened; disease afflicted him: but he never lost his calm. He testified that he was often amazed by the depth of this peace. This he assured us he had found in God. In that relationship he lost his fears. There is the real escape from fear. Get a deep, unshakable faith in the fact that you are not alone, but that God watches over you and cares for you and will bring you through all difficulties. Then you will have total peace of mind. Confidence, not fear, will be yours forever. Norman Vincent Peale

Enthralled (adj): filled with wonder and delight I was simply enthralled at her dance performance.

Consolidate (v): joined together into a whole It is very necessary to consolidate your resources before embarking upon any ambitious project.

Illustration (n): example Give me an illustration to explain your point.

Familiar (adj): well-known the new boss is quite familiar with the state of affairs as he was here 3 years ago.

Focus (n): a central point, a rallying point you must bring the rays of light to a focus to produce the desired effect.

Dissipated (adj): weakened the sermon fired him to make use of his dissipated power to the full and he achieved success.

Futile (adj): useless All his effort to win the game proved futile. a flashing illumination : a sudden knowledge
 or realization In a moment of flashing illumination Lord Buddha became alive to the Truth of the mystery of   life.

revelation (n) : a new knowledge It was a revelation to me that she was the daughter of the big boss.

potential (n) : having power and energy for something I am sure of his potential ; he can do real wonders in this field.

abundantly (adv) : in a large measure She was abundantly praised at the conclusion of her successful trip to the historic conference.

optimism (n) : looking at the bright side of things, a positive attitude of hope It was his sheer optimism that won him success in the trial.

reservoir (n) : a store Every human brain is a big reservoir of energy and power.

eminent (adj) : famous He is an eminent personality in this part of the country. a man of letters : a scholarly person A man of letters like him should not commit such a minor error.

adversary (n) : enemy Fear is man’s greatest adversary. direful consequences : bad, dangerous results You must be prepared for the direful consequences if you insist on going against the stream.

obstacle (n) : obstruction, hindrance Her father’s objection became a great obstacle in the way of her marriage.

intruder (n) : one who comes unseen as an enemy, an unwelcome, uninvited person The intruders from across the border generally attack the border villages and commit several crimes.

desperation (n) : a state of hopelessness In a state of desperation, he decided to do or die and won the game.

bravado (n) : bravery Desperation produced in him a sense of bravado and he attacked the enemy with all his might.

chipmunk (n) : a type of rodent or rat It was nothing but a small chipmunk that scurried off.

mortified (adj) : ashamed I felt badly mortified when I learnt of my folly.

poise (n) : a state of balance, calmness You must not lose your poise, especially in this hour of difficulty.

profound (adj) : deep His profound thoughts impressed everyone.

afflicted (v) : caused pain and agony Cholera afflicted the city in a big way last year.


1. When he begins to realize himself.
2. The student was enthralled to learn about the failure of average man.
3. Yes, he changed.
4. There is a great store of unused power in the personality of every man.
5. Weak personalities can become strong with the use of inward power.
6. He would preach against fear.
7. People experience fear of ill health, losing money and future.
8. He found a small Chipmunk/ rat.
9. One can have a real escape from fear by having deep faith in God.
10. One can have a real escape from fear by having deep faith in God.