Your mother probably told you that money can’t buy happiness. Well according to a new study, your mother might have been wrong. Seems that having money doesn’t necessarily make you happy but spending it on other people does – even as little as five dollars.
That got me thinking about what makes people happy – truly content in their lives. Some people have a lot of fancy toys but they don’t seem too happy. Some people seem to have less but are blissfully content. And yes I know people who have both. I think in the end most people are looking to make some sort of difference in the world – to have mattered to another human being and made their life richer.
The Dali Lama says that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness – to maintain a feeling of compassion or loving kindness. He says “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” The more we care for others the greater our own sense of well being.
So how do you do that?
Well the Dali Lama says he tries to treat each person he meets as an old friend. That’s similar to something Wayne Dyer says: when you meet anyone treat the event as a holy encounter. You can bet if either of those guys crossed your path you’d probably feel happy.
My mother used to say, “What goes around, comes around.” When you open your arms to the world, its opens its arms right back. In this case, I think my mother got it just right.