#257-1. Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus.
-Alexander Graham Bell
#257-2. If all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart.
#257-3. The man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest.
-Henry David Thoreau
Even in a leisure activity, one derives maximum pleasure or relaxation when one is in the present moment rather than have the mind wander—out of habit—into the future or the past. I have observed this kind of focus in high achievers. They work hard and play hard. When we do this we are in flow state.
We have earlier discussed the universal but useless thought, "Why me/us?". Our bad luck and constraints appear significant only until we really see what other people are facing. Periodically feeling an attitude of gratitude for what good things we have, what we have achieved and the good relationships we enjoy, helps in maintaining a positive outlook. Incidentally, amongst the great Western philosophers from Greece (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle), Socrates inspires me the most as he was a hard-core be! liever in practical wisdom and engaging in worldly activity, w! hile simultaneously applying his mind on deep matters. Not unlike Vivekananda.
Cheapest pleasure need not be about consuming lower quality luxuries. It could be that one enjoys the company of children, the smell of rain and many other "little pleasures" that we sometimes forget as we age. This has helped me a lot.