I got these questions from Danielle’s blog Underland to Wonderland, where I came across a post in which she talked about the website Thought Questions and their 365 thought-provoking questions to ask yourself. My friends Katrin, Celeste and Jasmine have also been answering these questions, so be sure to go check out their blogs too!
Day 33: If you could choose one book as a mandatory read for all high school students, which book would you choose?
Obviously it’s really hard for me to pick just one book (one! Can you imagine?!) but if there’s one book I would hand to my teenage self, it would be The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama. I’ve been nibbling my way through this volume since January and it’s had a huge impact on my mindset over these past few months. I feel like the teenage and young adult years are so tumultuous and it’s so hard to figure out what’s important and will really make you happy–especially when you’re dealing with all of the young adult drama of first jobs, first apartments, young relationships, etc. This book actually looks at Buddhist principles relating to happiness from the perspective of a Western psychologist (Howard C. Cutler, who co-authored the book), so you don’t have to be a Buddhist or even remotely religious to benefit from the text.
(By the way, please don’t take my multi-month reading of this book to mean that it’s super-long or dry, because it isn’t. It’s just one of those books that’s best read in small chunks, so you can really think about what the Dalai Lama is saying and how to put it into practice in your daily life.)