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The Conquest of Happiness

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Reading report

----the conquest of happiness

Recently I am deeply attracted by a book named the conquest of happiness which is written by an British philosopher B.Russell (1872-1970).Nowadays, our society is glutted with books which guide our behavior and always adhere to how to get success while the conquest of happiness is a book of great wisdom about life. Russell said this book was not meant for those learned scholar; instead, he provides his own feelings about life and the tips for happiness in the book, which are from his experience and observation. It really gives me a lot of inspiration.

Russell analyzed it through negative and positive aspects. It first lists the reasons for being unhappy, then for happy. He told many factors that lead to unhappiness, such as desperation, competition, jealousy, crime, abuse and fear of public opinions, demonstrated the impact of them and gave some suggestions. The second part is about several reasons that lead to a happy life: passion, love, family, work, leisure and so on. Russell assumed that the objects of being happy are those who have sufficient income, need not worry about food and housing and possess physical health. From my point of view, the topic set forth the situation of spiritual embarrassment seen from a large part of people. The reason why there are so many people who fully correspond to the conditions of happiness but still feel unhappy is nothing more than the dislocation of spirit and thought. Few people can understand they lose happiness when they pursue the fame and wealth. On the contrary, those who feel happy have their interests in all matters. The more things you are interested in, the more happiness you will obtain, and the less possibility of being controlled by fate there will be. If one loses one of them, he has other alternatives. Not only can they control work and leisure, family and love, but they also can taste happiness from them.

I appreciate this book due to the illustrations from the author’s own. Russell, one of the greatest philosophers in the world, introduced that he was born unhappy. ‘At the age of five, I reflected that, if I should live to be seventy, I had only endured, so far, a fourteenth part of my whole life, and l felt the long-spreadout boredom ahead of me to be almost unendurable. ’So, what is the root that formed such a negative thought and then what made he go out of the dark mind? Gradually, he learned to be indifferent to his shortcomings and focus his attention on the external things: the state of the world, various branches of the knowledge his personal interests and so on. The achievement of happiness, to a large extent, is due to the elimination of excessive self-concern. A happy man settles down in an objective manner and has a wide range of interests and freedom of love. With love and interests, he becomes the object of other people’s love and interests, and then he gains so-called happiness. Being the object of love is surely a major source of happiness. The one who asks for love can’t get love. Generally speaking, it is the one who gives love that gets love.

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