A long time ago, the son of a king of Persia was raised alongside the son of the grand vizier, and their friendship was legendary. When the prince ascended to the throne, he said to his friend. "While i attend to the affairs of the kingdom, will you please write me a history of men and the world, so that i can draw the necessary lessons from it and thus know the proper way to act."
The king's friend consulted with the most famous historians and the most learned scholars, and the most respected sages. Five years later he presented himself proudly at the palace.
"Sire," he said, "here are thirty-six volumes relating the entire history of the world from creation to your accession."
"Thirty six volumes!" cried the King. "How will i ever have time to read them? I have so much work administering my kingdom and seeing to my two hundred queens. Please, friend, condense your history."
Two years later, the friend returned to the palace with ten volumes. But tthe king was at war against the neighbouring monarch. He was found on a mountaintop in the desert directing the battle.
"The fate of our kingdom is being played out as we speak. Where would i find the time to read ten volumes? Abridge your history even further."
The viziers son left and worked three years on a single volume that gave an accurate picture of the essence. The king was now caught up legislating.
"How lucky you are to have the time to write quietly. While you've been doing that, I've been debating, taxes and their collection. Bring me tenfold fewer pages - i'll spend an evening mining them."
Two years later, it was done. But when the friend returned he found the king bedridden, in dreadful pain. The friend himself was no longer young; his wrinkled face was haloed by a mane of white hair.
"Well?" whispered the king with his dying breath. "The history of men?"
His friend gazed steadily at him and, as the king was about to die, he said:
"They suffer, Majesty."
"If there is a way to free ourselves from suffering.
We must use every moment to find it.
Only a fool wants to go on suffering.
Isn't it sad to knowingly imbibe poison?"
- Seventh Dalai Lama
I certainly don’t know many Kings of Persia but what I can testify to, is that in order to live happier and with less suffering adopting any, or all of the 10 strategies below is a significant step towards an end to needless suffering and move towards a happier, richer life with increased longevity.