Whatever your goals are in life, whether you want to lose 20 pounds, get the big promotion, or start your own business, the underlying motivation for pursuing goals is the same for everyone.
In the end, it turns out that we are all taking different paths in life in pursuit of the same thing…
We all just want to be happy.
Everything that everyone does is in the pursuit of happiness. Since we all just want to be happy most people should have smiles on their faces all the time, right?
In theory…yes. Unfortunately, many people struggle finding true happiness.
A recent poll showed that only 33% of Americans consider themselves happy. That’s right, ONLY 33%!
That means only 1 in 3 Americans are truly happy.
What’s even more shocking is that 1 in 10 adults in the United States suffer from severe depression.
When I read these statistics I can’t help but feel sad. After doing some research I discovered why so many Americans aren’t happy…
We tie our happiness to things like material possessions or achievements.
Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos says, “Most people go though their lives thinking, When I get ____, I will be happy, or When I achieve____, I will be happy.” This is far from the truth and will lead to major disappointment and ultimately unhappiness.
Notice that most people think when they GET or ACHIEVE something, only then will they be happy. Many of us tie our pursuit of happiness to material objects like buying the new shoes, the new car, or the new house. Sure, these purchases will provide temporary excitement, but the excitement quickly fades and you are stuck right back where you were…unhappy and still searching for happiness.
If you want to be truly happy, there is one thing that you can do. Finding true happiness is not about you getting new shiny things. The real secret to happiness is…GIVING. The happiest people don’t get, they give!
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Mahatma Gandhi
A research study called Americans’ Changing Lives found that, “Volunteer work was good for both mental and physical health. People of all ages who volunteered were happier and experienced better physical health and less depression.”
Those who give back to others often experience a euphoric state called “the helper’s high.” Dr. Christine Carter says, “The act of making a financial donation or volunteering triggers the reward center in our brains that is responsible for dopamine-mediated euphoria.”
Since giving back is a huge, HUGE part of being happy it’s no wonder why so many of us are not truly happy. Last year the volunteer rate in the United States was the lowest it has ever been! According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics only 25.4% of American’s volunteered at least once in a one year period.
“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
So if you want to be truly happy, all you have to do is one simple thing…Give back.
So get out there and start giving. If you can’t give money give your time. There are so many people and causes that could benefit from YOU being involved. That’s right…YOU can make a huge difference in someone else’s life just by giving a little bit of your time.
Giving back feels good, it’s what life is all about. It’s the secret to happiness.
Do you actively give back to those in need? If so, Do you consider yourself truly happy?