Searching for happiness is something familiar to all of us. There are libraries full of books on the subject. Checkout counters in almost every grocery store have racks filled with magazines full of articles on how to make your significant other happy or how to find happiness for yourself.
All of us are interested in being happy and in helping those we love find happiness. Where can happiness be found? What is that one ingredient that will insure real and lasting happiness?
One of my favorite poets, the great Indian mystic, Rabindranath Tagore, had an answer that I really like. Tagore wrote,
I slept and I dreamed that life was happiness. I awoke and saw that life was service. I served and found that in service happiness is found.
I am attracted to Tagore’s understanding of how to find happiness because this is exactly what I have experienced in my own life. Searching for happiness is a waste of time. I have never been able to find happiness by looking for it.
The shortest path to happiness, and even beyond happiness, to deep and lasting joy, is to stop looking for it and just to start serving those in need.
If you want 2012 to be your happiest year ever just reach out to those in need. Join with Stop Hunger Now in service to the world’s poor and hungry, or find a local organization that needs help.
How and where you serve isn’t important. Happiness and joy will be found in the service you give wherever that might be. Find opportunities to serve and you will find more happiness than you can imagine.
Have a happy and joy-filled New Year!