The Surest Path to Happiness Is Making Others Happy

The Surest Path to Happiness Is Making Others Happy

As someone who writes and speaks about happiness almost all the time, I spend much of that time busting myths and misconceptions.

And one of the most common myths about happiness is that it’s about being selfish, or pursuing hedonism.

Real happiness isn’t any of those things; in fact, one of the things we know about people who’re genuinely happy is that they’re more caring and thoughtful and they do, in fact, do more good for others!

So check out this article by Eric Weiner about why making others happy, will make US happy too …

My driver navigated the switchbacks with practiced ease. Before long, we reached our destination, an old building perched atop a hillside, and I found myself sipping butter tea and discussing the nature of happiness with a man named KarmaI was in Bhutan, a Himalayan nation sandwiched between India and China, investigating global bliss.

Karma Ura was genuinely perplexed by the West’s (and especially America’s) fixation on personal happiness. “I don’t understand this ‘personal happiness,’” he said, genuinely perplexed. “Happiness isn’t personal. It is 100-percent relational.”

At the time, I thought Karma was exaggerating to make his point. Surely our happiness can’t be 100-percent relational. What about the pleasures of a solitary walk in the woods or cocooning with a good book?

Only years later did I come to realize that Karma meant exactly what he said: our happiness is wholly dependent on the vitality of our relationships. This includes all relationships, include asymmetrical ones where we appear to give more than we get. The key word is “appear.” Help thy brother’s boat across, and lo! Thine own has reached the shore, goes an ancient Hindu proverb.

Science is just now getting around to confirming empirically what spiritual teachers have espoused for centuries: do good and you will feel good. People who regularly volunteer, for instance, consistently report improved mood, increased self-esteem and even more robust physical health. This holds true across different cultures and age groups. The evidence is clear: the more we give the more we get.

You don’t necessarily need to possess happiness in order to spread it. In fact, happiness is the only thing you can give without having.

A series of recent studies went a step further, investigating why altruism is such a powerful happiness booster, and comparing the happiness bump we accrue from helping others versus helping ourselves. The results, published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, are remarkable, and might very well change how you pursue happiness…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE