Introduction:

‘Secret of Happiness’ is an excerpt from the novel ‘Art of Living’ written by popular novelist N V Peale. As the title suggests, it talks about the key to achieve happiness and lays down what is required for the same.

About the Author:

Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993) was an eminent American author. He is titled the ‘Father of Positive Thinking’. Famous works of his include ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’, ‘You Can If You Think You Can’, and ‘The Power of Positive Living’. 

Theme:

The theme of this text is positivity. The text lays down ways that help one attain peace and poise, and thus fill their life with positivity, happiness, and success in life. It essentially advises one to remove the negativity prevalent in their life.

Summary:

Self-Realization:

The text begins with the dynamics of self-realization, making it thus the most important factor for happiness in life. By narrating an incident from the life of his college friend, the author brings out how realizing one’s true self is very crucial in life, that is, to identify their ‘real’ self. Failure merely implies lack of exercising control and maintaining focus in one’s life. This, the author states, allows for the potential for grand success.

Mental Capacity:

Then, he talks about mental capacity by quoting William James, a psychologist, who has stated that humans a very less percentage of their mental powers, only about a 20 percent. Thus, humans fail to tap into their mental prowess, merely living as such. Peale thus states that channel this power from within and open the mind to become strong individuals to attain ‘peace and poise’.

Fear:

Next, he focuses on fear, which he calls to be one of ‘man’s most common enemies’. Some fear or the other always plagues human beings. This, he feels, is a key reason for one to not attain their full potential for fear inhibits them. By yet again narrating a personal incident, this time detailing on his own experience with fear, the author states how fear is like a ghost, unfounded. The only way to move past is to face the fear and conquer it to tap into man’s true potential.

Faith:

Last but not the least is faith in God. As Kawaga, a great Japanese preacher had stated, immersing one’s self in God’s graces is what helps one achieve peace, poise, inner strength and confidence. The calm thus attained, he states, never leaves, no matter what the peril be and this will help conquer man’s fears as well successfully.

Conclusion:

This text is a motivational piece. It urges people to believe in themselves, refrain from suppressing themselves, overcome their fears and believe in God. These four practices alone will make life infinitely better and allow for one to reach their greatest potential.