A few years ago, I read this short post from Seth Godin, one of my all-time favorite sources of wisdom:
"Here’s conventional wisdom:
Success makes you happy. Happiness permits you to be generous.
In fact, it actually works like this:
Generosity makes you happy. Happy people are more likely to be successful."
In these four short lines, he captures one of the most powerful secrets of life, and at the same time, one of the most powerful (wrong) stories we tell ourselves.
It is easy to accept the conventional wisdom that money (or a nice house or a hot car) is the thing that drives our happiness.
This causes us to focus on the wrong parts of life. We put a lot of important aspects of life on the back burner and convince ourselves that success must come first. The rest can come later.
But - what if that's just the opposite of the truth? What if gratitude and generosity were the real starting points for happiness?
What might we be missing?
What relationships are we letting wilt?
What contributions are we allowing to not happen?
What help are we holding back?
How could we live our lives differently?
What if Seth is right?
What if Generosity really makes you happy - which leads to success (or is success)?