The Secret for Achieving True Happiness: Get Beyond Yourself

The title of this blog says it all. In Stage Climbing terms, this is Stage Seven—the highest attainable stage, where self gratification alone just plain doesn’t do it anymore. And that’s the secret. When you stop chasing happiness for yourself and instead focus on helping others to attain it, that’s when it’s most likely to come back to you, and in a lasting way. The strategy here, is to perform acts of benevolence without expecting anything for yourself in return.

Here are some examples of things you can do today to put this principle into effect—where you can or perhaps have used your Stage Seven hooks to impact the world that’s bigger than you and leave it a better place:

  • Whenever you put the more pressing needs of your children, aging parents, or other family members or friends above your own, such as by caring for those in your life who may be sick or need some help financially―out of desire to help, of course, rather than obligation.
  • Anytime you give your time or money to a charitable endeavor without regard to what comes back to you in the way of praise, recognition, or any other benefits―tangible or intangible.
  • Putting your reputation on the line or postponing a goal of you own for another person, a mission or a cause greater than yourself―when it is unlikely that you will experience any direct benefits.
  •  Any act of random kindness that is unlikely to result in so much as a “thank you” from whoever benefits.
  • Serving in the military or joining and working with a group that stands up for underdogs or the underprivileged as a means of making a difference.
  • Reporting a crime or blogging about an injustice you are aware of.
  • Being a whistleblower with potential consequences to yourself, in order to prevent a future injustice.

How can you make this principle a part of your life?