Happiness Depends on What We Give
Many different things make each of us happy. We have dreams, hopes, desires and things we really enjoy spending our time doing. Even if we had all the financial wealth in the world, it never can buy true happiness.
True happiness doesn’t even come by giving money away. It comes through giving of ourselves; our time, energy, understanding, compassion, and inspiration.
What is True Happiness?
There’s a huge difference between being happy for the moment and having lasting happiness. I’m talking about the kind of happiness after buying a new pair of shoes versus the kind of lasting joy achieving a life-long ambition brings.
To get that lasting joy, that peace, that true happiness requires a heart full of gratitude. Gratitude for all you’ve been given and have experienced in this life.
A Heart Full Of Gratitude
We must recognize the many ways in which we’ve been blessed each and every day. Even when we’re having a really nasty day and don’t feel like it. No matter how bad circumstances are (and I know they can get really bad), there is always something to be grateful for.
Remember: happiness isn’t a product of our circumstances. It’s a product of how we think.
Counting our blessings is important. But to a large degree, our happiness depends on what we give of ourselves to others. Having a heart full of gratitude comes easiest when we’re giving.
We can sit around and tell ourselves happy affirmations all day, but a quicker way to happiness is to do something for others.
Start at home or by doing something for a neighbor in need. Volunteer in your community or religious organization. Do an unexpected kindness for a stranger. There is always an opportunity to give.
Since there’s always an opportunity to give and you choose to be grateful for what you already have, you can always find ways to be happy.
Originally published November 12, 2012. Updated on June 12, 2015.