Though there are many methods which lead to happiness, I’ve realized that the most reliable way for me to become happy is by increasing another person’s happiness.
This concept is not unique, earth-shattering, or surprising. This is a principle that we all know to be true.
However, though we may “understand” this concept, I’m shocked at how often I personally need to remind myself to utilize this truth in my own life.
Sure, I’ve used it from time to time. Most frequently with people I care about.
But eventually my ego would start clamoring for more attention. “What about me? What about me? What about me?” it whispered.
And inevitably my focus would shift inward, away from others and onto myself.
Given the chance, my ego would rather focus on what I was getting rather than what I was giving.
We all know that the oxygen mask needs to be put on ourselves before we help others. But what about when we just suck the dang air so much that we forget to help the other passengers on the plane?
In 2013 I have been training myself to shift my focus outward. To trust that my needs will be cared for even when I’m not sitting around thinking about myself.
This doesn’t mean that I undervalue myself, quite the contrary. It just means that I am trusting that the more I serve others, the more I will experience abundance without striving.
This is my motivation for donating the proceeds of the book club, taking a month-long personal shopping hiatus while investing in nice things for others, and measuring how much I serve rather than how much I make in my career this year.
Changes like these have already given me much more peace, joy, and happiness than ever before.
Do I always feel like I’m floating on a cloud? No.
New situations come up which challenge me to stay true to the course when my ego would rather run and hide in its little What About Me? Cave.
But I can say that the renewed dedication to this goal every single day has been building up a strength within me. It’s becoming easier to shake off the sick satisfactions of the ego and forgive those that hurt me and look for new ways to help people.
And speaking of making other people happy, I’d like to share a video that my friend Susie introduced me to last night.
Every time I watch it I cannot help but cry happily along with Lily. The video a great example of how happiness comes from serving others.
Plus, watching it may make you feel happier as well.
Thank you for reading and have a great weekend!