Who is the happiest person you know?
Not necessarily the richest, the smartest, the healthiest or best-looking. Not necessarily even the sanest. Just the happiest. If you’re like the majority of people, you rarely stop to ask yourself this question. You probably don’t have much time to because you’re rushing headlong down the paint-by-numbers path to “becoming a successful person.”
You know the drill. By age 5, we all do. Get good grades. Get a good job. Buy a house, a dog. Get married. Have two kids. Teach these kids how important it is to get good grades, get a good job, etc., etc. There is nothing inherently wrong with this easy-bake recipe. But there is nothing inherently right about it either.
>Most people are deeply unhappy, deeply dissatisfied with their day-to-day lives. Yet most people have done their best to follow the above marching orders since pre-school. That tells you these marching orders may not be all they’re cracked up to be. After all, where did you learn this step-by-step program for proper adulthood? Your parents, your teachers, your preacher, your basketball coach. Looking back, were these people—are these people—especially happy? Maybe. But probably not—because the majority of people are not.
Following the conventional path leads to conventional results. Follow whatever model for Life that speaks to you, but be aware where that model comes from. No matter how good your grades or how fat your IRA, it’s not like you get to cash these chips in for happiness at some point. If you want to run a marathon, you talk to someone who has already run a marathon. If you want to be truly, deeply, authentically happy, then emulate someone who is already there. Which brings me back to my original question: Who is the happiest person you know?