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The Art of Living Well

Copyright (c) 2010 Stephen Lau

We are all living in this world. But do we all live well -- or do we just exist? Living well has little to do with material things. Of course, we all need the basics of life, such as food and shelter -- and that's about it. Material things can only make us "think" we live well, but, in fact, we may not be living well.

So, what is living well? Or, more precisely, what is the art of living well?

Living well is experiencing a sense of satisfaction, and embracing a feeling of appreciation and thankfulness for that innate satisfaction. This appreciative mindset is akin to what is being felt by an artist who has just completed his masterpiece, and who is now looking at it with self-elation, and liking what he sees.

In real living, where does that satisfaction come from?

The satisfaction comes from self-attitude. If you think about it, life is all about you -- what happens to you, and what you "think" what other people think about what happens to you. It is all about YOU! Accordingly, to live well, you must have positive self-attitude or self-concept.

However, ironically, focusing too much on self may not be conducive to living well. Why not? In Buddhism, enlightenment and nirvana (a sublime state of being) may come only after one has negated self or has become "no-self." Christianity also focuses on selflessness or "humility" -- which is essentially shrinking of self-importance, or the diminishing of self -- as a prerequisite for spirituality; without humility, no one can come before God.

So, living is all about what happens to self and the perceptions of others on what happens to self. But to live well, one needs to shift the focus from self to others. It is because the craving to satisfy self is forever insatiable and elusive; as a matter of fact, it is often the fountainhead of all human miseries. To illustrate, the pursuit of wealth may be the ultimate goal of many, and the perception of self-worth is more often than not built on the wealth accumulated. To pursue that end then becomes the driving force of living. But that pursuit is forever elusive and evasive, leading to nowhere.

The art of living well is to focus on the journey rather than the destination. The destination is either unreachable, or comes to a dead-end -- in either case, life would become meaningless and unfulfilled. The art of living well is to focus on others rather than on self. Focusing on others cherishes and nourishes mindfulness and loving kindness towards others, which make life meaningful and worth living.

Self-concept does not come from what others think of you, but rather what you think of yourself, or how you have made your life meaningful for yourself. Yes, it is all about you, too -- but with a little twist. The art of living well is all about the process, rather than the outcome -- this is the antidote against all obstacles in life. No matter what happens to you, no matter what problems you face in life, you have made a difference in your life as well as in that of others -- that is the art of living well.

About Author Stephen Lau :

The Art of Living Well: <a href="" target="_blank"></a> makes you feel good about yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually. This is especially important as you age: you need finding what you need (<a href="" target="_blank"></a>), not what you want.

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Article Added on Saturday, July 17, 2010
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