The secret to joy is both basic and complex. It is the sum overall of more than 2,000 years of philosophy, psychology, speculation, and conversation about the meanings and sources of joy. From Aristotle in 340 B.C. through to the modern thinkers, speakers, and authors these days, this key to happiness has hardly altered. It is the exact same for essentially all males and females in every country and all walks of life. The key to joy is this: Dedicate yourself to the development of your natural talents and abilities by doing what you like to do, and doing it better and better in the service of a cause that is higher than yourself.
This is a big commitment and a big declaration. Being happy requires that you specify your life in your own terms and then toss your entire heart into living your life to the max. In a manner, happiness requires that you be perfectly selfish in order to establish yourself to a point where you can be unselfish for the rest of your life.
YOUR HAPPINESS MUST COME FIRST
In Edmond Rostand’s Play Cyrano de Bergerac, Cyrano is asked why he is so intensely individualistic and unconcerned with the viewpoints and judgments of others. He responds with these terrific words: “I am what I am because early in life I decided that I would please at least myself in all things.”
Your joy likewise depends upon your capability to please at least yourself in all things. The majority of individuals are reluctant to utilize their own joy as the standard by which to evaluate the events in their lives.
Whatever we do in life is oriented toward maintaining and increasing our level of happiness. Simply as you can’t give money to the poor if you do not have any, you can’t make someone else delighted if you yourself are miserable.
The absolute best method to guarantee the joy of others is to be pleased yourself and then to share your happiness with them. Suffering and self-sacrifice merely depress and dissuade other people. Start by living the kind of life and doing the kinds of things that make you pleased if you desire to make others happy.
LET HAPPINESS BE YOUR GUIDE
Make joy the organizing principle of your life. That is, compare every possible action and decision versus your requirement of happiness to see whether it would make you happier or unhappier. Quickly, you will discover that practically all the problems in your life come from options that you have actually made– or are currently making– that do not add to your joy.
There will of course be countless times when you will have to do little things that don’t make you pleased in pursuit of your larger happiness. Nevertheless, as Earl Nightingale said, “Happiness is the progressive awareness of a worthy perfect.” You feel truly happy just when you are moving, stepby- action, toward the accomplishment of clearly specified goals that you feel will boost the quality of your joy.
Because you can’t be really delighted until you are clear about your intrinsic possibilities, it’s crucial that you take some time on a regular basis to analyze yourself and recognize your strengths and weak points. There is an old stating, “Success leaves tracks.” You can reflect on your life and determine who you really are and what you should be doing with your life. One of the very best ways to do this is to continuously ask yourself this powerful question:
” WHAT ONE GREAT THING WOULD I DARE TO DREAM IF I KNEW I COULD NOT FAIL?
Picture that you have all the cash, all the time, all the education, all the contacts, all the resources, and whatever else that you could perhaps require to attain any one big goal in life. This is a really essential concern since when you remove the limitation from your thinking, you frequently get a very clear idea of precisely what you must be doing with your life.
All effective men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their fortune might be, ideal in every regard, and after that they work every day toward their far-off vision, goal or function. Detailed awareness of their ideal makes them truly delighted.