Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Illusive Joy of Happiness

“Gratification and satisfaction don’t last, unlike fulfilment--being of value to others in ways that you love. Therein lies happiness” --David Deane-Spread.
When I read a quote like the one above I get the instant feel of truth--it resonates. We all know that no matter how hard we try, continued happiness eludes us. When we’re truly happy, the thing that spoils our happiness--in that moment--is we dwell on the transience of the fact; sooner or later we’ll re-enter drudgery.

Fulfilment, on the other hand, is a little devoid of the constraints of the world. We can get a broader sense of happiness with fulfilment.

And the Deane-Spread quote outlines a conditional statement based on two criteria. “Being of value to others in ways that you love…”

Firstly, we have to realise that a deeper and more lasting version of happiness called fulfilment is available in being of value to others. We are so apt at doing the opposite to realise our happiness and we’re confounded every time. Selfishness gets us to torment, not happiness.

Yet, when we’re selflessly being of value to others, something good within us wells up, and suddenly we feel fulfilled.

Secondly, we can’t achieve the first thing (‘being of value to others’) sustainably without there being something in it for us. It’s called the ‘What’s it in for me?’ factor. Christian or not, we all need to do things that feel good to us.

There is something raw and simple about this concept that is all too often lost on us. We seek happiness (fulfilment) in the most awkward, complex and unnecessary ways. The moment we lighten our grip on happiness is ironically the time it can and does occur.

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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