Are you a happiness thief?


The happiest people I know have one thing in common. They never compare what they have with what someone else has.

They don’t focus on what is missing. They focus on what is there.

Their success is defined by how much they helped someone else, not by how many things they have to show for their effort.

I also know people, successful by some standards, who are downright miserable.

I sat at a dinner listening to a few recently. They need more of “this”, else they won’t reach “that”. They will not be happy until they acquire “that” car, go on “that” vacation, live in “that” neighborhood.

I felt incredibly sad for them.

Don’t get me wrong. I am all for goals. Goals are important and we all need small victories to put in our pockets each day to keep going. But, goals that represent the accumulation of “things” seem vacuous and somewhat pointless.

You don’t come into the world with anything and cannot take anything with you.

It is pretty awesome to live in a big house and drive a luxury car. Or vacation in the southernmost tip of South America or the splendor of an old estate in Spain. But the comfort these things provide is always temporary if you haven’t decided that you own your joy.

Because once you own it, no one and nothing can take it from you without your permission.

9 thoughts on “Are you a happiness thief?

  1. I am blessed that I do not have to have these conversations with my daughters. None of them have the “keeping up with the Joneses” bug. Hope they never will. Sadly, it’s the adults at times that seem hung up on how much they can own, as if that somehow adds value to their self worth. They raise their kids the same way, which is sad.

  2. Love this, and it’s very true, the people who are happiest in life accept themselves and enjoy what they have instead of reaching for something that wont necessarily give them happiness inside.

  3. It is tough, though. I have three teenagers and a 6 year and they still compare somewhat, but mainly we have been able to contain it. As adults, living that way is just so heartbreaking; you can never enjoy any moment because you are always a step ahead, wondering about what is missing.

  4. Thank you so much for your comment! Yes, I agree. Once you stop comparing you begin to live in the present. That doesn’t mean you don’t continue to strive to improve, but it’s as if you achieve this bifocal effect while looking at life. You can enjoy and see the “now” clearly, but still appreciate there is room for improvement. It’s a shift in thinking – difficult but not impossible!

  5. On the flip side, it is a great inspiration to others when you aren’t sucked into that “gaping hole” of neediness. To enjoy what you have at the moment without planning the next move is a gift to be shared.

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