Archives For The Art of Living

The Art of Adventure

A man practices the art of adventure when he heroically faces up to life . . . When he says, like Frank Crane: “My soul is a Columbus; and not watery wastes, nor glooming mysteries . . . shall send me back, nor make me cry ‘Enough!’”

When he has the daring to open doors to new experiences and to step boldly forth to explore strange horizons.

When he is unafraid of new ideas, new theories and new philosophies.

When he has the curiosity to experiment . . .  to test and try new ways of living and thinking.

When he refuses to seek safe places and easy tasks and has, instead, the courage to wrestle with the toughest problems and difficulties.

When he valiantly accepts the challenge of mountain-top tasks and glories in a job well done.

When he concludes that a rut is only another name for a grave and that the only way to stay out of ruts is by living adventurously and staying vitally alive every day of his life.

~ Wilferd A. Peterson, The Art of Living

The Art of Failure

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Remember the old proverb: “A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.”

Consider the power of laughter to prick the balloons of pretense and to deflate stuffed shirts.

Inject laughter into tense situations to save the day; laughter calms tempers and soothes jangled nerves.

Use laughter to set healing vibrations into motions—to fill a room with the sunshine of good cheer.

Guard yourself against the gloomy outlook by recalling the wise statement of Henry Ward Beecher: “A man without mirth is like a wagon without springs . . . he is jolted disagreeably by every pebble in the road.”

Tell the funny story on yourself so that the laugh is on you; always laugh with others never at them.

Look at the funny side of your difficulties: impersonal contemplation is the secret of laughter and perspective.

Most of all, learn to laugh at yourself; meet each day with a sense of humor.

Laughter is the best medicine for a long and happy life. He who laughs . . . lasts!

~ Wilferd A. Peterson, The Art of Living (1961)

Don’t stand in your own shadow; get your little self out of the way so your big self can stride forward.

Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny spark of possibility within you into the flame of achievement.

Follow the advice of Socrates: Know Thyself: know your strengths and your weaknesses; your relation to the universe; your potentialities; your spiritual heritage; your aims and purpose; take stock of yourself.

Create the kind of self you will be happy to live with all your life.

~ Wilferd A. Peterson, The Art of Living (1961)

The Art of Mastering Fear.  

By flooding the dark corners of fear and superstition with the bright light of reason and knowledge, thus mapping the unknown, overcoming fancy with fact, dispersing hobgoblins of the imagination and revealing the truth the sets men free.

By accepting the fact that old age and death are natural and inevitable, that to fear them is futile, and that they can best be faced with a calm and quiet mind by ignoring them and gallantly living a day at a time.

By finding inspiration in the words of Cardinal Newman: “Fear not that your life shall come to an end but rather that it shall never have a beginning.”

~ Wilferd A. Peterson, The Art of Living (1961)

The Art of Living Forever.

No man stands alone. Though all the centuries of recorded time, men have set into motion influences that affect your life today…

You are the heir of the ages. Men reaching for the stars have created for you a world of wonder and challenge…

Living in you now are the ideals of the ragged soldiers of Valley Forge, the gallant Pilgrims, the daring explorers and pioneers, the fighters for freedom through all history…

On a more intimate note, you mother, father, teacher, clergyman, friend have built their influences into your character…

~ Wilferd A. Peterson, The Art of Living (1961)

The Art of Work.

Work begins man to life, sets him in motion. Work is man in action doing things. Nothing happens until people go to work. Work creates the world we live in.

The right attitude toward work multiplies achievement.

The art of work consists of what you think about your work, how you feel your work, and what you do about your work.

It is abolishing the concept of work as chains and slavery, and seeing it as freedom to create and build and help.

~ Wilferd A. Peterson, The Art of Living (1961)

The Art of Staying Young.

The art of staying young depends upon staying youthful on the inside, in mind, heart and spirit, in defiance of wrinkles and gray hairs on the outside. The Fountain of Youth is within you!

Staying young is an inside matter. Your body grows old, but your body is not you. “We do not count a man’s years,” wrote Emerson, “until he has nothing else to count.”

Stay young by continuing to grow. You do not grow old, you become old by not growing.

Stay young by hanging on to your dreams. A philosopher writes: “There is not much to do but bury a man when the last of his dreams is dead.”

~ Wilferd A. Peterson, The Art of Living (1961)

The Art of Achievement.

You hold in your hand the camel’s hair brush of a painter of Life. You stand before the vast white canvas of Time. The paints are your thoughts, emotions and acts.

You select the colors of your thoughts; drab or bright, weak or strong, good or bad.

You select the colors of your emotions, discordant or harmonious, harsh or quiet, weak or strong.

You select the colors of your acts; cold or warm. fearful or daring, small or big.

~ Wilferd A. Peterson, The Art of Living (1961)

The Art of Thanksgiving.

The art of thanksgiving is thanks-living. It is gratitude in action. It is applying Albert Schweitzer’s philosophy: “In gratitude for your own good fortune you must render in return some sacrifice of your life for other life.”

It is thanking God for the gift of life by living it triumphantly.

It is thanking God for your talents and abilities by accepting them as obligations to be invested for the common good.

It is thanking God for all that men and women have done for you by doing things for others.

~ Wilferd A. Peterson, The Art of Living (1961)