I have read several articles recently that distinguish between happiness and meaning. The overall conclusion is that when we focus on meaning, purpose and contribution we will be happier. When we only focus on our own happiness is when we fall down the rabbit hole of never ending want and take. This conclusion can be applied to all of the ill wills of the world; unhealthy relationships, unhappy people, war, politics and even poor health.
One of the Living Inspired Choices in my book, Be Amazing Tools for Living Inspired, is to Embrace Self Consideration. This may seem contradictory to the notion of giving and purpose but in fact I think it is where we get confused. Many of us begin to think that we need to be selfless, putting our wants and desires on the back burner of our life. The truth is when we consider of ourselves we are able to to give more and put energy toward our contributions. If we are living a life of meaning and purpose it doesn’t mean, we shouldn’t or can’t consider ourselves. We need to fill up so we have more to give.
My granddaughter is two. Yesterday was Halloween.
When she set out to go trick or treating with her mom, dad and baby sister it was an adventure. My son said she was slow going at the first few houses but once she realized that she could knock and get candy she was all in. She walked several more blocks than we ever thought she would. My daughter in law said my granddaughter always only took one piece of candy; never taking more than her share but freely and lightheartedly filling up her bag.
She experienced the magic: knock and receive.
When she returned from her big adventure she started helping me pass out candy. She would take one piece put it in the bag of a trick or treater, say a few indistinguishable words, probably something like ‘trick or treat’, ‘Happy Halloween’, ‘I have one for you’, ‘bye’… She worked hard and long running up to people on our walkway, back to me to get another piece while bopping around in her beautiful dress. She seemed to be having more fun giving the candy than getting the candy.
She experienced the best kind of magic: giving.
We need to practice knocking and receiving. Being willing to accept and understand we are worthy. Not taking more than our share but not dismissing the joy of receiving. It takes courage to freely accept what is given to us.
We need to fill up our candy bags so we can freely fill others. Magic happens in win-wins. Magic happens with enthusiasm and lightheartedness. Giving and receiving doesn’t have to be hard; let it flow.
Let’s try to be more like a two-year-old on Halloween. Let your light shine bright to light the way for others!
With a full heart,
Inspirational Speaker and Author
For Erin’s book and her Living Inspired products visit: http://www.erinramsey.com/shop/