3 Things You Don’t Need to Find Happiness

happiness

Many seek wealth, power, and respect, but few will find it. The truth is, you don’t need them to find happiness.

Happiness is subjective and means something different to the one who beholds it.

Happiness is not found in wealth.

Many associate wealth with happiness because it adds an extra layer of security. Financial security and prosperity is good and should be a goal, but notĀ for the purpose of happiness. Additional wealth usually accompanies the desire for things. If not checked, desire can take-over. It’s ok to be wealthy and secure, but don’t expect it to always bring happiness.

Happiness is not found in power.

At a younger age I would have said power in an organization can bring about happiness. Power must mean you’re in control. The truth is, power really adds nothing. Sure, it may help get things done. People may be required to listen to you, but it by no means you’re a happier person. In my earlier years I fought and fought for every promotion. I’d think to myself “Every time I move up it must mean I’m seen as a leader.” Job promotions mean nothing unless you have the respect. Power, like wealth, isn’t wrong, but you have to keep it in perspective. There is much truth to the saying “Don’t let it go to your head.” You really shouldn’t, but how many twenty somethings are given a promotion and are in reality just terrible bosses. I wouldn’t know, but chances are I was probably one of those twenty somethings many years ago.

Happiness is not found in respect.

I consider respect something earned. It’s the payoff from an investment in people. If you have it, you done something right. It too, does not bring happiness. It can contribute, but isn’t the single most valuable piece to the puzzle. Respect is not something a promotion or pay raise brings. It comes from day to day leadership in times of crises. Many fail to realize once respect is earned from another that every action is being watched. Respect from others takes years to gain and only seconds to destroy. One wrong move can topple someone’s perception of you. Do not take happiness from respect. Take it as an affirmation of making consistent, good decisions.

Happiness IS found in how we see ourselves.

Happiness is found in contentment. It’s the belief that we’re here for a higher purpose. True happiness is found in those that the world would believe have no reason to be happy. Let’s take the cheerful giver who has little to nothing in her name, yet still chooses to donate her time and money to help others around her. Perhaps she attends church and prays for those around her without expecting anything in return. I say to you, this is the happiest person. They’re happy at times when the world would expect them to have a “woe is me” attitude. They see value in investing in those around them. Some may have wealth, power, respect, and happiness, but it’s only because they’ve learned where their joy comes from. You could take away all these things and the core of the person would choose to remain happy in the end. They may encounter a rough patch here and there, but overall they manage to recover.

Happiness and joy come from the things unseen.

-Thomas
thomas@thomasmiller.me