“Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you gotta protect it. When people can’t do something themselves, they’re gonna tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.”
In one of my favorite movies of all time, Will Smith plays Chris Gardner and says that to his son.
Happiness is our greatest gift of all. It can’t be measured, it can only be felt. Every one of us possesses an innate God-given ability to be happy and enjoy that privilege. But how many people truly achieve that magnificent, awesome, blissful state? How many can honestly say they are truly happy in their social, business, and family circles?
Perhaps it’s such an elusive goal because our culture today gives us a false idea of what happiness is. Many people think that happiness automatically results from the accumulation of wealth or the acquisition of great power, but it doesn’t.
Money can’t buy love and it can’t buy you happiness, either. You don’t need money to be happy. You certainly don’t need power to be happy.
I’ve found that out for myself. I’ve been blessed with the ability to create and build three hugely successful companies. I am currently in the early stages of launching my fourth. I never did either for accumulating wealth or power. Al though, these businesses did bring financial rewards for sure. But that doesn’t have much connection with authentic happiness. Not that I ever personally expected that to be the case. I always knew that happiness would come from a higher purpose in life, a higher cause, a higher effect.
But when you rise to the top of the business world you’ll find there’s not much further you can go. And, in all honesty – it get’s lonely on top, because you’re constantly surrounded by vultures who want a piece of you. The great thing about happiness is that it has no ceiling.
Defining happiness, however, is a complicated matter. It’s personal and it’s a language only you can define.
Perhaps you feel that you would be happier if only you could live “the good life” meaning that you earn more money, live in a better house, become a well-known celebrity, or fall madly in love with someone. Those are all voids. When you look for voids, you’re not seeking happiness, you’re only seeking short-term desires.
However, researchers who have actually studied happiness found that college graduates who placed a higher value on goals such as personal growth, close relationships, and community involvement were more satisfied with their lives than those who placed a higher value on the acquisition of wealth and vanity.
Researchers also determined that you can, by and large, create your own happiness. If you feel that external events control you and it’s impossible for you to take charge of your own destiny, you’re wrong. Believe it or not— they’ve calculated that some 40 percent of our happiness is determined by our own actions, while 50 percent is set in our genes and only 10 percent by things that happen in life that are beyond our control. That 40 percent is a powerful number. You do have control over whether you are happy or not. Only you—no-one else. So go ahead and take control. Your destiny is in your hands. No matter what setbacks life gives you, you may never control the outcome, but you always control the process.
So, how do you define happiness? Putting that exquisite, joyful feeling into words can be as elusive as achieving it.
Here are my thoughts:
Happiness is living life with a passion to make the most of every precious second.
Happiness is loving life. Especially, learning to embrace it during the moments of pain.
Happiness is living the life of your dreams.
Happiness is both having a passion and being passionate about everything you do.
Happiness is living life with a purpose, so you’ll never be bored.
Happiness is overcoming adversity. So, it can fuel you to achieve your goals.
Happiness is believing in a higher power so you can stay grounded.
The great John Lennon—from his earliest formative years—understood the magic of happiness. I’ve used this quote before and it’s so true and relevant it needs to be reiterated. Lennon once said, “When I was five years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
Those words were from the mouth of a five-year-old with a great destiny. But whatever your age you can take those words to heart and make happiness your goal in life and in business.
After all, there are plenty of good reasons to acquire the state of happiness. Happier people live longer. They are healthier, more successful, and more socially engaged. Even our founding founders recognized the importance of “the pursuit of happiness” to such an extent that it’s enshrined in the Declaration of Independence.
And, even as the Dalai Lamai said, “Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions.
Why wouldn’t you want to be happy? The Universe wants you to be happy. Channel each positive energy to make it a reality. Accept that fact. Embrace it. Make your personal happiness a priority for you. Don’t deprive yourself of happiness.
Dream of what defines happiness. Then figure the path that you need to take to get you there. Think of three things you could do—this week—that would infuse happiness into your being. Schedule them. Follow through, and do them. When you’re achieving a state of happiness you will inevitably make those around you happy. That’s one of life’s greatest accomplishments of all.
Live. Laugh. And Let Live.