Think less about yourself

Bertrand Russell suggested a novel way to achieve happiness. There was a phase in Bertrand Russell’s life when he was continually on the verge of suicide. He began to hate life. One day, he discovered the meaning of “diminishing preoccupation with myself.” From that day onwards he began to deliberate less on his “sins, follies, and shortcomings.” He gradually learnt to be indifferent towards himself and his deficiencies. He directed his attention more towards the external world. Russell writes, “External interests, it is true, bring its own possibility of pain: the world may be plunged in war, knowledge in some direction may be hard to achieve, friends may die. But pains of these kinds do not destroy the essential quality of life, as do those that spring from disgust with the self.”

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© 2017 by Dr Purnendu Ghosh