Archives For The Art of Living

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)

The Art of Being.

The art of being is the assumption that you possess, this very minute, those qualities of spirit and attitudes of mind that make for radiant living.

It is a philosophy of being today, instead of becoming in a tomorrow that never comes.

It is recognizing that courage, joy, serenity, faith, hope and love are immediately available now, and proceeding to open yourself so these qualities can be expressed through you in everyday living.

It is following the maxim of Shakespeare: “Assume a virtue though you have it not” …knowing that the dynamic power of habit can build it into your character.

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

The Art of Leadership.

Simply and plainly defined, a leader is a man who followers. The leader deserves to have followers. He has earned recognition. Authority alone is no longer enough to command respect.

The leaders is a great servant. The Master of Men expressed the ideal of leadership in a democracy when he said, “And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.”

The leader sees things through the eyes of his followers. He puts himself in their shoes and helps them make their dreams come true.

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

The Art of Personal Efficiency.

To manage others successfully, a man must first manage himself. Personal efficiency is creative self-management. It is not getting ahead of others, but getting ahead of yourself.

It is having the drive to get started on the task at hand. “Life leaps like a geyser,” wrote Alexis Carrel, “for those who drill through the rock of inertia.”

It is experimenting to find the best, easiest and quickest ways of getting things done.

It is putting first things first, doing one thing at a time and developing the art of intensive concentration.

It is breaking big tasks down into their smaller parts, simplifying the complex, finishing the big job one step at a time.

. . .

It is organizing your personal life for efficient living in all the important areas: work, play, love and worship.

It is making time to live for you by making the most of every minute.

~ Wilferd A. Peterson, The Art of Living

The Art of Happiness. 

You can’t pursue happiness and catch it. Happiness comes upon you unawares while you are helping others. The philosophy of happiness is pointedly expressed in the old Hindu proverb, which reads: “Help they brother’s boat across, and lo! Thine own has reached the shore.”

Happiness is like perfume—you can’t spray it on others without getting some one yourself.

Happiness does not depend upon a full pocketbook, but upon a mind full of rich thoughts and a heart full of rich emotions.

Happiness does not depend upon what happens outside of you but on what happens inside of you; it is measured by the spirit in which you meet the problems of life.

Happiness is a state of mind. Lincoln once said: “We are as happy as we make up our minds to be.”

Happiness doesn’t come from doing what we like to do but from liking what we have to do.

The master secret of happiness is to meet the challenge of each new day with the serene faith that:

“All things work together for good to them that love God.”

~ Wilferd A. Peterson, The Art of Living

The Art of Selling. 

When everybody sells, goods, services and ideas move faster, and prosperity is achieved.

Selling is not limited to people called salesman, for we all have something to sell, and that includes you!

When everybody sells, we create a mental and emotional climate of friendliness and good will that makes buying a joyous, happy adventure.

Customers are won and held through a multitude of acts and attitudes. Here are some of the things that represent the art of selling at its best:

  • Courteous words instead of sharps retorts.
  • Smiles instead of blank looks.
  • Enthusiasm instead of dullness.
  • Response instead of indifference.
  • Warmth instead of coldness.
  • Understanding instead of the closed mind.
  • Attention instead of neglect.
  • Patience instead of irritation.
  • Sincerity instead of sham.
  • Consideration instead of annoyance.
  • Remembering people instead of forgetting them.
  • Facts instead of arguments.
  • Creative ideas instead of the humdrum.
  • Helpfulness instead of hindrance.
  • Giving instead of getting.
  • Action instead of delay.
  • Appreciation instead of apathy.

~ Wilferd A. Peterson, 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)