One of the prime essentials of enthusiasm lies in that quality called happiness. A happy disposition develops a radiant personality. To develop a permanently radiant personality one must form the habit of being permanently happy. Can one form such a habit? Let us consider a habit is something that becomes automatic if repeated often enough. New thinking is a great effort but that effort gradually ceases as oft repeated, automatic thinking converts it into a habit.
Your first effort in reading music and finding corresponding notes upon the piano is very much of an effort. You are so engrossed in the effort that you have no place in your brain for the harmony, or the theme that you are playing. Your one effort is to get those notes pressed down in temp or out of it, with expression or without. The result is not what you could call music. You would not expect people to listen to it and like it, would you?
After twenty years of automatic repetition all effort disappears. You have substituted mastery for effort. Your effort has been absorbed by habit. You have also developed a wonderful charm that makes people love your music and you for rendering it. You have learned to conceal all effort in automatic habit and devote your whole genius to interpreting the inspired soul of your composer.
Enthusiastic, radiant people are those who are always happy because they have formed the habit of always being so. They have learned the art by looking always on the bright side of every event instead of the dark side.
At first it was very hard for it was so difficult to see the good side, and so easy to see the bad side of those early events which we call “misfortunes.” For example, young and inexperienced salesmen make calamities out of their failures instead of stepping stones. They allow themselves to be discouraged by lost sales instead of inspired to seek greater understanding of their cause.
The more often one practices seeing the good in every failure, the harder it is to see the bad. Happy people have learned to be happy because their own philosophy has made them believe that is the best way to live. Happy people are always optimists.
Grouchy people have formed the habit of being grouchy by always looking at the worst side of all events, until it is ingrained in them. They cannot look upon life in any other way. Grouchy people always are pessimists.
Happy people find life interesting and have hosts of friends. Grouches find life dull and boresome and their associates, not friends, are mostly those who receive some benefit by that association. The happy man is loved for himself alone and the grouch for his patronage.
The late Chauncey Depew said that he made up his mind to be happy early in life because his father and grandfather died of the blues. They were so low-spirited from worry that, to them, life was not worth living. “I think life is worth living,” he said, “because I decided long ago to think that way.” As to the preferable philosophy, one might find a good answer in the fact that the whole wide world loved Chauncey. ~science and philosophy
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