If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else.”
— Chinese Proverb
“What we gave, we have;
What we spent, we had;
What we left, we lost.”
— Inscription on tomb of Edward (The Good)
“Look around for a place to sow a few seeds. . . .”
— Henry Van Dyke
Isn’t it the truth in life, that the things we do for ourselves don’t have anything at all like the satisfaction and thrill of helping others? It’s true in my life; although . . . I am partial to naps when I have the chance, and inheriting a fortune is definitely on my list of things I would love to have very soon. I’m not much for fishing, but I do love to watch people play music and could do that all day long.
I own so many things. Thousands of things. There are so many things in drawers and in offsite storage that I haven’t even looked at in years, yet I still own them. Why? Tens of thousands of dollars was spent to get them over time and I don’t even much care about them. Most have no real value to me anymore, though in my mind they have a dollar value since I bought them. This fact causes me to hold on to them so that I might recoup some of that expense by selling it someday. Someday. Strange? I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the way almost everyone feels, if they might admit it.
Truly when I think about it, it is the things that I no longer own that I have given away, that I really value. That gives me pleasure every time I think about it and I feel happy about that and the fact that I gave it away.
I learned from Jack Canfield on a CD set called Maximum Confidence, to go through and take some of those material things I’ve been owning and give them to someone I think could make use of them. I’ve done a little of that and I need to do it a lot more. Now, I can think of those things that used to just sit there and I can envision them being used and enjoyed by someone else. If for no other reason than to have that feeling, it is a great thing to give the items away.
It’s a considerable better feeling than thinking about them languishing in the storage shed, knowing in fact that they are not being used, rotting away. Jack Canfield says the key to this is never to sell the items at a garage sale or on eBay, but to give them freely. It really helps me feel more abundance in my life when I just give these things away–especially knowing that I could sell them and have some cash (though it would be much more in my mind most likely than in reality. . .).
Of course, it doesn’t need to be just material things. The help I’ve offered someone, the knowledge I’ve shared, the skills I’ve trained are all good things I’ve given away and the memories of that is very satisfying. The thing that I give away the most is a simple thing called love through kindness, cheerfulness, a smile, opening the door for someone, and a hundred other ways. The way of giving love that gives me the most satisfaction is through encouragement of others, including so many people I’ve never even met. I think we all need encouragement. In this I am a happy and wealthy man.
What do you own that you haven’t even touched in several years that others could benefit from? If you want to really get the juices flowing, start with things that you think have higher dollar value. That will get your inner conflict going a bit, and when you let that thing go, it will be a powerful change in you.
What do you value highly that is non-material that you can give away? What is it that you would most like to have more of? Give that away. Look around for a few places to sow some seeds. You’ll be amazed and blessed at the way that helps you to feel.
I Find My Happiness Is In What I Give, Not What I Get. Strike That. I Find Happiness In What I Give AND What I Get. A Double Bonus! Two For One!
Spread Some Joy Today–Sow some seeds today with people you interact with. Sow a smile, some laughter, some encouragement, some light-heartedness, some love. It’ll do you both good.