The primary key to happiness is remaining present. Being in the moment prevents you from getting anxious about the future and depressed about the past. To be present, you have to live outside of yourself, and the best way to do that is to help others.
The beautiful thing about helping others is that it can be done anywhere at any time and you can help just about anyone with any situation. Finding someone in need is never an obstacle, the only obstacle is your ego.
As I was trying to get away from the pain of my past, I found that it became difficult to understand what all of this was about. Why bother to spend time and energy to become a better, pain-free me? I was happy being me, or at least I thought I was happy. I wasn’t happy, I was just comfortable being someone that I didn’t like.
It wasn’t until I started to help others that I realized what true happiness is all about. For the first time in my life, I had a purpose other than just trying to mask pain. Helping others gave me a bird’s eye view of how being present can change our lives.
My first foray into helping others came from this blog. Sharing my stories of pain gave others the courage to go forward with their strength to share theirs. The help the became reciprocal in that I quickly realized that I wasn’t alone with what I was feeling and how.
Over the years, my desire to help others translated into a TEDx talk, a book, taking on a second job as a fitness instructor, helping feed the homeless and even volunteering my time with the SPCA. There is never a time when helping others without expectation of a return hasn’t made me happy.
True happiness is not a selfish endeavour, it is a communal one. When you are the only person that is happy amongst your group, then you are truly not happy, you are just narcissistic. You don’t need to be happy to help others to be happy but to become happy, you need to be surrounded by happiness. Help others to be happy, and in turn, you will get there too.
Help others in their pursuit of happiness, and you will find your pursuit to be that much briefer.
This blog post is part of a series of 26 that focuses on finding your inner happiness. Please check out the rest of the series here: The ABC’s of a Happy Life