One thing all of us have in common is that we want to be happy. We want to feel comfortable and confident. We work hard to be liked and recognized by others. Uncover the closely guarded secret to happiness.
You may hate your job and be struggling financially. It may seem like you rarely see your spouse. You may feel trapped by the mundane routines of life. Perhaps your children are treating you with disrespect as you struggle to meet the constant demands thrown at you.
One thing all of us have in common is that we want to be happy. We want to feel comfortable and confident. We work hard to be liked and recognized by others. We want to be remembered for something worthwhile. We want to smile and laugh. We want to be happy. So what does it take to be truly happy?
Define your purpose
When you define your purpose in life, everything changes. You feel an added sense of direction and confidence. Now, when your purpose includes helping others, life is more upbeat. You’ll have an added energy in your step, and you will begin to see the brighter things of life. You’ll see past your own challenges and notice opportunities to lift and strengthen others. By giving of your time, your kind words, forgiveness and encouragement (none of which cost any money) you will find a greater measure of happiness in your life.
To feel and experience true happiness, we must look for opportunities to serve others. In regards to reaching out to others in their time of need, religious leader Thomas Monson explained “We are surrounded by those in need of our attention, our encouragement, our support, our comfort, our kindness — be they family members, friends, acquaintances, or strangers. We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth…to serve and to lift His children. He is dependent upon each of us.”
During the dark moments of life, recognizing opportunities to provide service to those around us is hard. We would rather compare our challenges and look at how much worse we have it than them. Looking beyond our own struggles we will begin to see the challenges of others. Sometimes reaching out with a simple visit, a phone call, a smile or a kind note can ease the heavy burden someone else is called to bear.
How to uncover the closely guarded secret to happiness
Think of someone you know that is struggling with life. It may be someone with a recent divorce, the loss of a job, the death of a loved one, a new person who just moved into the neighborhood, a young couple with a new baby. When you have that person in mind, ask yourself, “What can I do to help?” You will soon discover ideas come into your mind that are specifically designed to help that individual. Act on those ideas and watch the magic unfold. You will create a smile where there was a frown, a laugh where there was crying, happiness where there was sadness, friendship where there was loneliness and hope where there was despair. Now pay close attention to the feelings that you have after you help others — that is true happiness. This is a feeling that will change your life and the lives of others for the better.
Dustin A. Wiggins, author of 180 Experiences that will Strengthen your Marriage, is passionate about discovering ways to strengthen the family. He loves to write and explore different parts of the world. You can follow him on twitter @_DustinWiggins or check out his blog Lessons of Wisdom to stay updated with helpful and inspiring ideas.