Pursuit of Happiness?

“Happiness begins where selfishness ends.”
-John Wooden 

We live in a world obsessed with happiness. You want to be happy, right? So do I! And if only I made more money, or got in better shape, or had a new car, or…

THEN I will be happy.

The want for more or different or better is marketed to us at every corner of our (and our kids’) lives – TV, radio, Amazon, Facebook, etc. I think this want for more is leading us down a road of becoming a very selfish society. We expect instant gratification because of having everything on-demand at our fingertips. We have everything we could imagine, and yet…we still aren’t “happy.”

I think the way we change this is to refocus the conversation from happiness to fulfillment. Fulfillment is a basic concept. We have learned it through sports, school and service projects. The most rewarding things are when we sacrifice, work hard and persevere to accomplish something for ourselves. Take it a step further –when we sacrifice, work hard and persevere to help someone else achieve something for themselves. Now that’s fulfilling! That makes me happy.

So whatever your role, think about how you can help others accomplish something. We all have opportunities, big and small, to make a difference in someone’s life. It reminds me of the Starfish story.
Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean for exercise.

One day, the old man was walking along a beach that was littered with thousands of starfish that had been washed ashore by the high tide. As he walked, he came upon a young boy who was eagerly throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one by one.

Puzzled, the man looked at the boy and asked what he was doing.

The young boy paused, looked up, and replied, “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach, and they can’t return to the sea by themselves. When the sun gets high, they will die unless I throw them back into the water.”

The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”

The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled, and said, “It made a difference to that one!”
Who can you make a difference for?

Have a FULFILLED weekend!

BJ Kraemer
President, MCFA