By: Brian Tracy
Your ability to achieve your own happiness is the key measure of your success, of how well you are doing as a person.
You learn the key to happiness that has been the same through all of history. You learn how to dispel the two myths that may be holding you back and how to achieve more happiness in everything you do.
Dedicate Yourself to Your Best Talents
The key to happiness is this: dedicate yourself to the development of your natural talents and abilities by doing what you love to do, and doing it better and better in the service of a cause that is greater than yourself.
This is a big statement and a big commitment. Being happy requires that you define your life in your own terms and then throw your whole heart into living your life to the fullest. In a way, happiness requires that you be perfectly selfish in order to develop yourself to a point where you can be unselfish for the rest of your life.
Please Yourself First
In Edmond Rostand’s play Cyrano de Bergerac, Cyrano is asked why he is so intensely individualistic and unconcerned with the opinions and judgments of others. He replies with these wonderful words: “I am what I am because early in life I decided that I would please at least myself in all things.”
Your happiness likewise depends upon your ability to please at least yourself in all things. You can be happy only when you are living your life in the very best way possible. No one can define happiness for you. Only you know what makes you happy. Happiness is an inside job.
Your Happiness is Up to You
The biggest myth about happiness is when people say that it is not legitimate or correct for you to put your happiness ahead of everyone else’s. Throughout my life, I’ve met people who have said that it is more important to make other people happy than it is to make yourself happy. This is nonsense.
The fact is that you can’t give away to anyone else what you don’t have for yourself. Just as you can’t give money to the poor if you don’t have any, you can’t make someone else happy if you yourself are miserable.
The very best way to assure the happiness of others is to be happy yourself and then to share your happiness with them. Suffering and self-sacrifice merely depress and discourage other people. If you want to make others happy, start by living the kind of life and doing the kind of things that make you happy.
Here are three steps you can take immediately to put these ideas into action.
First, define for yourself the activities that you really love and enjoy, at home and work, and then organize your life so you do more of them.
Second, believe in yourself and trust your own feelings. Then, please at least yourself in all things.
Third, determine what it is that you do that brings the most happiness to others and then organize your life so that you can do more of it.