These days, lots of people are writing and studying what makes us happy. With our modern day, busy lives many people find themselves tired and unfulfilled – unhappy.
The consensus seems to be that our happiness is not related to how much we earn, how many houses we have, or how nice our car is. Rather, social studies confirm that what makes us most happy is serving others.
A recent chat I had with my neighbour really drove this point home for me. My neighbour manages a number of very successful car service businesses. He is a rough and ready sort of guy who fought and scrapped his way from humble beginnings in rural northern Ontario to the top of his business in Canada. That said, he has a very kind heart and you couldn’t ask for a better neighbour. With his success, he probably doesn’t have to work another day in his life but he chooses to go in every day.
I always love our chats because our backgrounds are completely different. This past weekend, I had just finished mowing my lawn and my neighbour approaches me. I can see from the twinkle in his eye that he is excited to talk. He tells me how someone had brought him an old Cadillac that needed work to fix an exhaust manifold.
The fellow with the Cadillac had asked around and couldn’t find anyone willing to do the work. Just when he was at his wit’s end, he was referred to my neighbour.
As my neighbour is telling the story he becomes more animated than I had ever seen him. He is talking faster and faster explaining how he personally does the work on the car and does a little extra work on a few other things that needed to be fixed. He then tells me how the fellow, that had just picked up his Caddy with the newly installed exhaust manifold, was elated to drive away his “baby” that had been sitting in the garage for the last several months.
My neighbour ended the story by shaking his head and saying “Bill, I just loved doing the work for him.” His gigantic smile spoke volumes. This is what really makes him happy. This is his way of serving others.
Whether you are a health care provider, a teacher, a bank teller, a CEO or in my case a lawyer, we have the opportunity to serve others in our own way. For me it is serving people seriously injured in a car crash. For you, it may be something entirely different. But we all have that opportunity to use our expertise to serve someone else.
Serve someone today. Not because you have to, but because you want to. It’ll put a smile on your face!
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