Foundation stones to happiness and success
1. Why should you read this summary?
What do you need to do to achieve happiness? How about having a peaceful mind? Is it even possible to always be happy and at peace? This book says yes. All the good things are easily within your reach. All you have to do is to follow the basics. The basics of what? Everything you need to know is in this book.
2. Who should read this summary?
People struggling with mental health issues
People who are having a rough life
People who are striving to be successful
3. About the author
James Allen was a British writer who specialized in self-help and inspirational books. His bestselling novel, As a Man Thinketh, was published in 1903. Despite how long it has been, As a Man Thinketh is still cited as the inspiration of several religious books and audiobooks.
Foundation stones to happiness and success
How is your life going so far? Are you content with life as it is? What would you change about it? At some point, you were probably jealous of someone else’s life. We all have been there.In this book, you will learn how to live a happy and peaceful life. It’s not as hard as you think it is. All you need to do is to know the basics of a solid foundation. You would be surprised that the secret to being happy is the simplest thing in the world. Are you ready to get started?
1. Right principles
When you build a house, what is the first thing that you do? You plan, of course. You make sure that it looks strong and is strong. Overlooking the strength of the house’s foundation can be disastrous. It would crumble in no time.This house analogy is applicable to you. Whatever you are trying to reach, you need to have a solid foundation on how you should go about it.Nature is unforgiving. If she senses any kind of confusion or doubt in your part, she will destroy you. You will be unable to attain your goal. You will not feel happiness and success.Everyone has to start somewhere. You cannot win a race by immediately reaching the finish lane. No, you have to train for it. You have to endure waking up early to exercise. Not to mention eating the right kind of food. A student does not automatically know how to solve algebra. First, they have to learn the alphabet.
Do not dare take shortcuts. Once you are about to start, mentally prepare your mindset. For you to be happy and successful, you need the right principles. If you start off wrong, you will—of course—do wrong things. Wrong things will make you miserable.As humanity evolves, things get more complex. How did we even create thousands of books just from constantly rearranging twenty-six letters? But the principles still remain simple and easy. These foundations shape your character. It will also lead you to success.So, what are these principles? You need only five. You might even hear these principles all the time. But to live by them is a challenge too difficult for lots of people. If you master these principles, you will rise above your troubles. You will also encounter success after success.
The first principle is duty. Duty is strictly minding your own business. Constantly meddling with other people’s business will be the downfall of yours. Having a sense of duty is fully committing to your work. You aim to be precise and efficient.The second principle is honesty. Being honest is simply not lying or deceiving anyone. Every word that comes out of your lips is sincere.Honesty boosts your reputation. A good reputation, in turn, is good for business. A good business means that you are successful.The third principle is economy. This principle doesn’t just apply to money. Economy also includes your own physical and mental resources.You avoid wasting your resources over desires and impulses. You having control over your economy means a lot. It shows that your character has strength and resilience.
The fourth principle is liberality. Liberality is a follower of economy. They cannot exist without the other. Spending your resources on your own pleasures brings you misery. Being generous is liberating. It helps you become noble. It also turns your enemies into friends.The fifth and last principle is self-control. When you have no self-control, terrible things happen. You always fail. You are also physically, mentally, and financially drained. Imagine a businessman who yells at his customer. You already know that the businessman has failed his goal. He would be unable to acquire that customer because of his outburst. One has to learn patience, gentleness, and kindness. If you do not learn these things, your character and chances of success are uncertain. Again, you are familiar with the words. Be familiar with it through actions as well. Live by these principles. Your happiness and success are at stake.
2. Sound methods
The right principles have to be in sync with your actions. What’s the use of knowing the principles if you do not act on it? What your methods are in acting out the principles is crucial.A machine is only useful and admirable if it is working well. All the gears and parts perfectly complement each other. This is similar to life. You adjust some aspects of yourself in relation to the principles. By doing so, you come out efficient and powerful.Living a happy life involves regulation. A wise man pays attention to the smallest of things. A foolish man happily chooses to ignore it.
A wise man knows that the small things make up the big things. Thus, he is often careful. He disciplines himself when it comes to his passions. He carefully chooses his words before he speaks.But the soundest method is discipline. Pay attention to the smallest acts that you do every day. Maintain a strict schedule of when you will sleep and will wake up. Do not forget to note the regularity of your meals. Do you eat a certain time? How do you eat? These questions can help with your digestion. Also, distinguish hours for work and for play.Maintaining a schedule works wonders.Paying attention to the small things creates harmony.You become happy and at peace.
3. True actions
True actions follow the right principles and sound methods. True actions are acting rightly to other people. This is often an overlooked aspect as you race towards success and happiness.But look closely. How do you treat other people? Do you treat them with kindness? Good. Your days will become more peaceful. True actions make you and the people around you happy.But how are you sure that your actions are true?
It is as easy as classifying the things you own. For instance, you put your clothes in a closet.You place your books on the shelves. An action is good if its nature is good. Also, it is a true action if its aim and effect is for the betterment of you and other people.A doer of true actions, or the right-doer, is a careful person. He will try to avoid acts that only satisfy himself. He will also consider if his actions will bring hurt or annoyance to other people. Self-control is again emphasized in this ordeal. He will not speak ill of anyone. When he is angry, he will only speak once he has calmed down.
Honesty and sincerity are needed for true actions. These two are crucial to make you more thoughtful. Before you do or commit to anything, you think it through. Yes, your intentions are good. But good intentions can lead to terrible consequences. When do this happen? When you become thoughtless. Is the action good at face value? Does it hide a motive underneath? Learn to train your eye when it comes to matters such as these. Your thoughtlessness can unconsciously make you commit terrible things.
4. True speech
As mentioned, sincerity brings out the truth. And truth in speech is where it all begins. The opposites of truth must be abandoned. Lies, deception, and slander are examples of these. If you do not abandon these, you will never happy or successful.Lying to other people is sinful.But lying to yourself is considered a bigger sin. You convince yourself that doing bad things is necessary. You make excuses for yourself. Aside from lying, you are also deluding yourself.You aim to be happy by lying? Then you will never reach it. You reach happiness, patience, kindness, etc. when you practice it. This is the only way.Slander is a more intense version of lying. James Allen emphasized this terrible form of speech because it’s subtle.
Initially, you will think slander is the truth, that’s why you believe it. But it’s far from it. Those who slander need an audience. They have to pass the evil on. Now, this act is bad in itself.Then, it will begin to spread if you listen to it. You become evil because you were influenced by it. Those who talked and those who listened are both guilty.Slander starts small.It might have been created because of a misunderstanding. Let’s imagine Mike and Henry were arguing over something. Mike is angry because he felt that Henry was too demanding.Mike then vents to his friends. Mike’s friends, in turn, sympathize with him. The friends do not consider Henry’s side. They spread slander to their friends. The argument appears worse than it originally was.Ignore the evil reports about yourself. Do not give evil the satisfaction to stay in your head. You know that you are a good person. Whatever misinterpretation other people have is false.Continue to have a peaceful life.
5. Equal mindedness
Equal mindedness means that you are mentally at peace. How could you be at peace if you are unbalanced? You are a wise man when you do not have prejudices. You also do not attack neither defend sides. You simply are an observer that sympathizes with everyone.When you pick a side, you become biased. You think that your side is right. You even ignore the facts that go against your beliefs. Your mentality is to attack and to defend. Slowly, a burning hatred starts to grow inside you. It makes you a bitter person. Because of this, your mind is unbalanced. Because your mind is unbalanced, you do not have a peaceful mind.
An equal-minded man does not let his opinion cloud his judgement. He makes it a habit to sympathize with everyone. He does this in order to understand all sides of a story. This way of life keeps him happy and peaceful. His knowledge about certain matters increases. All because he took the time to listen.Get over your desires, opinions, and biases. Listen with an open heart. This is your way to peace.
6. Good Results
Nothing “just happens” to us. There is no such thing as luck. You get the good things out of life because you worked hard for it. You directed your life into a path of peace and harmony. You are experiencing what you are experiencing now because of your own actions.You harvest what you plant. It is as simple as that. Good results do not just choose you. You are the reason of those good results. The same goes for bad outcomes as well. An alcoholic did not choose to be addicted. But he still is because of his action of drinking every day.It is up to you to bring yourself happiness. Life is hard, so you have to put in the work to achieve good results.Whatever you set your mind to, make sure your efforts are good. Make sure that you have pure intentions.
Do not expect to harvest good fruit if you plant bad seeds. This means that you should not expect. Do not get offended if your bad actions return to you. Again, you get what you deserve.Those who are living right know what to do. Every action will have a series of consequences.So, they act accordingly. They stick to the right principles, speech, and actions. Their foundations are solid. They live life happy and at peace.
You learned about what will make your life a happy and peaceful one. It is all about building a strong foundation. How you start your journey towards happiness and success is essential. First, choose the right principles to live by. There is duty, honesty, economy, liberality, and self-control. Mastering these five principles will mold your character. It can slowly point you to the right path. Aside from knowing the principles, you also have to live by it day by day.Second, put your principles into motion by doing sound methods. Self-discipline is crucial when it comes to this. Regulate your life so that you will become happy and at peace.Third, think about the actions you do. Does it have pure intentions? What caused you to do it? What will be its effect on you and on other people? Learn to be thoughtful.
Fourth, learn to be unbiased. Listen to all sides but do not take a side. You will gain knowledge from this stance while remaining at peace.Finally, you create your own luck. Success happens to you because you worked for it. So, go about life with the right principles, actions, and speech. You will see just how much good fortune you can reap.It’s never too late to apply these learnings to your life. It is both scary and exciting that you alone have the power to change your life. Make it a goal to be happier and more successful than you were before.Imagine how fulfilling it will be. Go on and start right now.