Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sun Tzu and the Art of Happiness: How to Declare War on your Unhappiness Today

Photo by vlasta2, found on Wikipedia,

Never thought Sun Tzu, the ancient war expert, had advice to share on happiness, huh?  Truth be told, he didn't directly.  But indirectly, his concepts on war can be launched against the enemies of happiness.  Specifically, this week, I am looking at the following idea:

. . . though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.

How do we apply this advice to a war against unhappiness?  By deciding upon one simple thing--you have to find your happiness before the enemy and war's fatigue takes it away.  How do you do that?  Well, I wrote an article about motive statements for writers that can be adapted to life in general through answering two questions:

  • What do you want to do?
  • Whom do you want to do it for?

The second question is easily answered--you do this for yourself.  The first question, however, is tougher and involves examining closely your drives and desires.  But once you find the answer, you can attach your happiness to your motives, and it will be like the horses pulling Sun Tzu's chariots--not only has your happiness come along for the ride, it is being carried into the war against its enemies.

So take some time this week to uncover your motives.  I will post articles and exercises periodically this week to help you do just.  That way we both can harness Sun Tzu's advice and take the war to unhappiness and conquer it.

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