The Happiness Wisdom 

by

Stephen Lau
Stephen Lau's
book about human wisdom

About Stephen Lau .
      The Happiness Wisdom
                               by
                     
Stephen Lau

Americans report that they are not very happy in their day-to-day life and living; evidently, something is missing for most Americans. One of the objectives of this book is to address this issue of unhappiness that may have an impact on their overall health and well-being.

Another objective of this book is to help people develop their own recipes for happiness through looking at ancient wisdom from the East and the West, conventional wisdom, and spiritual wisdom.


THE HAPPINESS WISDOM is a 161-page book:

All about . . . .

Unhappiness is no respecter of persons, whether you are rich or poor, young or old, wise or unwise.

The continuous quest for happiness is elusive and evasive, just like chasing the wind, unless wisdom is present.

Avoiding unhappiness is self-delusional, an unrealistic approach to attaining happiness.

Happiness and pleasure are life experiences to be enjoyed, cherished, and remembered -- but they do not last forever.

Happiness and unhappiness are only a state of mind-a uniquely subjective perception of an individual.

Happiness is contentment and satisfaction: contentment from getting all the basic needs, and satisfaction from getting some of the wants in life. Therefore, knowing the needs and the wants is important.

Unhappiness is only a personal perception that life is not really what it should be to that individual.

Any new life experience -- perceived through the five senses and then processed by the thinking mind, with attitudes and prejudices, as well as with beliefs and emotions, formed from past life experiences -- now become the new “reality” and just another new “thought” for the thinking mind.

You think and you become what you think, and that is your reality, which is often distorted and unreal, except in your own thinking mind.

Therefore, be aware of the presence of your subconscious mind, which is often making decisions for you and on behalf of you. Be wise, and don’t let your subconscious mind control your conscious mind.

Your life experiences are real to you; how you perceive and process them may positively or negatively affect how you live your life. Because they are stored in your subconscious mind, they may give you valuable life lessons, making you happy, or create delusions and self-deceptions that may not only confuse you but also lead you astray, making you unhappy. Get the wisdom to separate the truths from the half truths or the myths.

Wisdom is asking self-intuitive questions about whatever you experience in life, probing into the truths of all the so-called  "realities" perceived by your mind. Enlightenment is asking no more questions, because you already have got all the answers.

Wisdom is knowing who you really are, what you need and want, and how to confront your life changes and challenges. Wisdom lets you fully grasp the meaning and the source of happiness and unhappiness.

Ancient wisdom from East and the West shows you happiness comes from human effort, virtuous action, a balanced life with justice and rationality. Human happiness always has a relationship with the human soul.

Conventional wisdom creates the “normality” mindset of assumptions and attitudes that doing certain things will make you happy, making you only less self-reliant and more dependent on others for your own happiness.

People cannot make you happy, unless they consciously choose to do so.

To be truly happy, you must think outside the bounds of conventional wisdom. You must have an empty mindset not just to think out of the box of conventional thinking, but also to create your own box of beliefs and thinking.

Spirituality is a personal relationship with God through self-awareness, and a deep longing for the soul alignment with the Creator. It requires quality time, deliberate effort, and right doing, including love and compassion for others.

Everything that happens in your life is about YOU, and not about someone else. So, only YOU can create your own happiness recipe. 

Happiness is about doing -- doing things to yourself as well as to others, based on the five major ingredients: love, forgiveness, gratitude, compassion, and letting go.

In addition to choosing the ingredients, you should know the methods of applying those ingredients to your recipe. There are basically only two: human wisdom, and spiritual wisdom.

Human wisdom shows you how to think: who you really are, not who you wish you were; how and why your perceptions may change the realities that ultimately affect your life choices and decisions, making you happy or unhappy. Happiness is no more and no less than perceptions by the human mind. Human wisdom is right thinking, leading to right doing to create the right happy life experiences.

Spiritual wisdom provides strength and guidance for right thinking by the human mind. Spiritual wisdom may not only transform but also enlighten you to become a better and happier individual.

The Outline of the Book . . . .

INTRODUCTION: The two objectives of the book: addressing human unhappiness; creating the individual's own happiness recipe.

ONE: The underlying causes of human unhappiness.

TWO: Understanding how the human mind perceives and processes experiences, and changing the thinking mind to change the "realities" responsible for happiness or unhappiness.

THREE: Distilling the ancient wisdom from the West (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle) and the ancient wisdom from the East (Confucius, Lao Tzu, Buddha) to get some happiness ingredients.

FOUR: Looking at the pros and cons of conventional wisdom and the science of happiness.


FIVE: Explaining the difficulties of spirituality in a secular world, and how human wisdom may be a pathway to attaining spiritual wisdom.

SIX: Creating your own happiness recipe from the happiness ingredients obtained through looking at many real-life examples of real people from the past and the present, demonstrating how and why they were happy or unhappy. 
The Complete TAO TE CHING in Plain English
by Stephen Lau

This book contains the 81 chapters of the translated text of the ancient Chinese classic on human wisdom, written by the Chinese sage Lao Tzu. It also explains in plain English the essentials of Tao wisdom, which is the wisdom of TAO TE CHING.

For more information, click here
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Many are unhappy not because of what they have experienced throughout their life journeys, but because they don't have the human wisdom to perceive and process what they've experienced.

Happiness is a state of mind, due to the the perceptions of the human mind. Change your perceptions to change your so-called realities. Empower your mind with human wisdom -- ancient wisdom from the East and the West, conventional wisdom, and spiritual wisdom -- to think differently to have totally different perspectives of what may have made you happy or unhappy.

Looking at many examples of real people from all over the world may also enlighten you, and help you live as if everything is a miracle.

To get your digital copy, click here; to get your paperback copy, click here.
“Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you.” Aldous Huxley


“Just try to be happy. Unhappiness starts with wanting to be happier.” Sam Levenson


“for riches do not endure forever,
and a crown is not secure for all erations.” (Proverbs 27: 24)



“The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.” Thomas Berger


“The reason man may become the master of his own destiny is because he has the power to influence his own subconscious mind.” Napoleon Hill





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The following is an excerpt from the book:

Money and Happiness

“When we are children, we play with toys.
When we grow up,
We want the real thing.”
Uchiyama Roshi

Does money bring happiness? To many, it does, especially if they have experienced the lack of it! That explains why thousands of people line up for hours to get their lottery tickets, hoping against hope that their tickets would win them great fortunes, and hence their happiness. 

Mind and Perceptions

Bruce Lipton
, author and cellular biologist, said: “The function of the mind is to create coherence between our beliefs and the reality that we experience. We generally perceive that we are running our lives with our wishes and our desires. But neuroscience reveals a startling fact: we only run our lives with our creative, conscious mind about 5 percent of the time; 95 percent of the time, our life is controlled by the beliefs and habits that are programmed in the subconscious mind.”

In other words, it is your pre-programmed subconscious mind telling you that money can give you happiness. That can also explain why you may find yourself working in jobs that you do not even like due to your subconscious belief that money is everything in life.

The whole world out there that you see in front of you right now is nothing more than a projection of what you feel deep inside. Not only is it a projection of your deep feelings and thoughts, but also your internal energy. Yes, money is energy too, just like you, me, and everything else. Money is an expression of energy of your subconscious mind, building a complex system of money beliefs, such as “money makes the world go round” and “when I have enough money . . . then I’ll be happy, and can do whatever I want to do.”

Happiness in relation to money is no more than mind and perceptions. So, change your mind to change your perceptions of money and happiness. 

Abundance and Lack

We all want abundance, and not lack. We all desire abundance in education, family, relationships, profession, and money; in particular, nobody wants lack-one thing nobody wants in life. But abundance often creates many attachments in our lives.
The reality is that you can have all the money in the world and still be as miserable as sin. The truth of the matter is that it is love, rather than money, that actually makes the world go round. Everybody is chasing money, and looking for ways of getting more. But if missing out love, a vital ingredient, making the world go round will only guarantee failure and unhappiness.

Another related profound truth is that abundance and lack are no more than a perception of the mind. Everything is relative, including abundance and lack. If one is grateful for what one already has, even though it might be perceived as lack by others, one not only perceives but also makes everything enough.

A Case in Point

At the end of 2007, John Kralik, an attorney who owned a law firm, experienced debts and disasters in both his life and career.

One day, after a walk in the mountains, Kralik became enlightened: as his 2008 New Year resolution, he decided  to write a thank-you note a day for the rest of the year to every one he knew.

Kralik’s 2008 “gratitude project” had changed his life completely. Instead of his feeling of discontent regarding his lack, and his envy of those who had what he did not have, he had learned to be grateful for his law firm, his practice, his friends, and his family, despite the many disasters and drawbacks he had previously experienced. Kralik’s gratitude began to change every aspect of his life. His relationships with his family, his friends, and his staff improved significantly; his law firm avoided bankruptcy, and turned around completely.

Gratitude is something that you get more only by giving it away more. Expression of gratitude generates happiness that overcomes the unhappy feelings of lack.

Spiritual Wisdom

Live a life of gratitude with a heart of thanksgiving.  That means in everything we both say and do, we are to do so to thank God for what He has done for us. Always be thankful and grateful!

“Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, as it is written: ‘The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.’” (2 Corinthians 8: 13-15)

“The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.” (Proverbs 10: 3)

“Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” (2 Corinthians 3: 5)

Tao Wisdom

If you do not wake up every morning with feelings of gratitude, make a deliberate effort to live fully in your breaths and actions. The best way to express your gratitude is to embrace everything in your life with joy, no matter what.

“Fame or self, which is dearer?
Self or wealth, which is greater?
Gain or loss, which is more painful?

Accumulating or letting go, which causes more suffering?
Looking for status and security, we find only suffering.
Knowing our true nature, we find joy and peace.
With nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to us.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 44)
My Way! No Way! TAO Is The Way! by Stephen Lau

This is one-of-a-kind approach to depression, a mind disorder in a world of depression.

Unlike the conventional ways of avoiding depression, such as the use of exercise as distraction,.suppressing the symptoms, such as the use of affirmations or visualizations, and up lifting the depressive moods using medications, this new approach uses the ancient TAO wisdom from China to let you fully experience anything and everything in depression.

TAO wisdom is the way through depression, instead of avoiding it. You may become enlightened and free yourself of depression forever; if not, at least you may look at your depression differently.

To find out more and to read some excerpts from the book, click here.
The following is another excerpt from the book:

Riches and Rags

From Riches to Rags

According to the Harvard Business Review, wealth and happiness are not positively correlated, because wealth may make people less generous and more domineering. In addition, wealth may not bring out the best of an individual: the more money that individual has, the more focused on self that individual may become, and so the less sensitive to the needs of people around, as well as the more likely to do the wrong things due to the feeling of right and entitlement.

A Case in Point

Barblara Woolworth Hutton
, also known as “the poor little rich girl”, was one of the wealthiest women in the world during the Great Depression. She had experienced an unhappy childhood with the early loss of her mother at age five and the neglect of her father, setting her the stage for a life of difficulty in forming relationships.

Married and divorced seven times, she acquired grand foreign titles, but was maliciously treated and exploited by several of her husbands. Publicly, she was much envied for her lavish lifestyle and her exuberant wealth; privately, she was very insecure and unhappy, leading to addiction and fornication.

She died of a heart attack at age 66. At her death, the formerly wealthy Hutton was on the verge of bankruptcy as a result of exploitation, as well as her own lavish and luxurious lifestyle.

Barbara Hutton was the unhappy poor little rich girl! She was widely reported in the media, and her story was even made into a Hollywood movie: “The Poor Little Rich Girl.”

From Rags to Riches

Christopher Paul Gardner, an American entrepreneur, investor, author, and philanthropist, was very poor and homeless in the early 1980s. Sleeping on the floor of a public toilet, Gardner never dreamt that he would become a multi-millionaire one day. His inspiring life story was made into a hit Hollywood movie: “The Pursuit of Happyness.”

Gardner was brought up with the belief that he could do or be anything that he wanted to do or be. He was homeless, but he was not hopeless. He dreamed of wealth and success, and his dreams were not mirages. Because of his right doing, he made his dreams come true.

Initially, Gardner made his living by selling medical equipment. He did not make enough money to make both ends meet, and his poverty made him homeless for a year.

Then, one day, Gardner met a stockbroker in a red Ferrari, who offered him internship because of his incredible drive and sustained enthusiasm. He had a successful investment career, and he subsequently opened his own investment firm, Gardner Rich & Co.

More than two decades later, after the death of his wife, who challenged him to find his true happiness and fulfillment in the remainder of his life, Gardner made a complete career change. He became a philanthropist and a motivation speaker traveling around the world, focusing not on his own wealth, but on humanity and helping others to get their happiness.

According to Gardner, life journey is always a process of lesson learning and forward moving:

“People often ask me would I trade anything from my past, and I quickly tell them no, because my past helped to make me into the person I am today.”

On that life journey, mental focus is essential: focusing not just on the big things in life but also on the small things as well; appreciating what you have rather than dwelling on what you lack.

“Then again, what seems like nothing in the eyes of the world, when properly valued and put to use, can be among the greatest riches.”

“Wealth can also be that attitude of gratitude with which we remind ourselves everyday to count our blessings.”

“The balance in your life is more important than the balance in your checking account.”

The bottom line: according to Gardner, everything begins with self-belief and doing.

“I just wanted to make a million dollars. But I couldn’t sing and I couldn’t play ball, so I said to my mother, ‘How am I going to make a million dollars?’ And she said to me, ‘Son, if you believe you can do it, you will.’”

“It can be done, but you have to make it happen.”

Conventional Wisdom

Studies after studies by psychologists have shown that there is no correlation between wealth and happiness. The only exception is in cases of real poverty, when extra income relieves suffering and brings security. But once the basic material needs are satisfied, the level of income makes little difference to the perceived level of happiness.

The bottom line: let go of the madness of materialism! The Beatles rightly said in their song that money can’t buy love, and neither can it buy happiness.

Tao wisdom

According to Tao wisdom, money is neither positive nor negative; it is all in the human mind.

But how you make your money and how you spend your money may turn money into something either positive or negative.

To increase your wealth in a positive way, focus on doing what needs to be done, and no more. On the other hand, the more you do to make more money, the less focused you become, and the greater are your expectations of the outcome. That may ultimately create not only undue stress but also internal disharmony in your life, turning money into something negative, and making you unhappy.

Increasing your wealth, however, does not necessarily mean spending your money proportionately. That is to say, an individual making more money does not have to buy a much bigger house than what that individual actually needs. To illustrate, Warren Buffet, the billionaire, has set an excellent example: he is still living in his $31,500 home he bought some decades ago.

Spiritual Wisdom

Material riches are regarded by the Scriptures as neither good nor bad in themselves, but only according to whether they are properly or improperly used.

But all material riches are transitory, and they do not last.

“for riches do not endure forever,
and a crown is not secure for all generations.” (Proverbs 27: 24)

Therefore, set your heart on what is eternal, which is above, instead of the transient, which is below.

“Do not trust in extortion
or put vain hope in stolen goods;
though your riches increase,
do not set your heart on them.”
(Psalm 62: 10)

Jesus said a good man has good treasures, and an evil man has evil ones:

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil out of the evil stored up in him.”
(Matthew 12: 35)

Prioritize your wants, and ask yourself these questions: Am I obsessed with material riches? Do I always want more?

“Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.”
(Isaiah 55: 2)