In his inaugural speech Nelson Mandela quoted Marianne Williamson who eloquently stated, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.”
Previously we discussed the revolutionary happiness study conducted by Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ken Sheldon, and David Schkade. As you recall they found about 50% of a person’s happiness is their natural biological makeup. It was circumstances that made up the next 10%, far less than people often think.
So the secret to happiness is found in the other 40%. In this is found the daily intentional thoughts and activities that one pursues that bring joy. The key is finding things that provide lasting fulfillment. There are countless temporary things that are fun for a moment, but durable fulfillment comes from working to make others happy and pursuing and completing meaningful goals on a regular basis.
Michelangelo shared, “The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” As Marianne Williamson noted above, playing small serves no one. Your happiness is directly related to how diligently you pursue significant goals on a daily basis. So aim high, in doing so you not only impact yourself.
Want to improve on your goal? Find a way to use your dream to serve others. Remember, as the water level rises it raises for everyone. Part of your gift is to work each day to help others find happiness.
There are 168 hours in every week. The average American watches close to 50 hours of television a week. What if you personally cut that number down significantly and used that extra time to move towards your dream? It doesn’t matter what that dream is or how crazy it may sound, what matters is the joy it will bring you and others.
Recently I had to privilege of helping one man reach his vision. I was able to help fund Ray Sumser’s massive “The Entire Cartoon Universe,” a painting of 3000 characters from comics to movies. An audacious goal? You bet, but massively entertaining! Perhaps you will be able to see it displayed at the Cleveland Art Museum someday. So play big, commit to follow through daily on your goal, and aim high. You won’t just make your life better, but others as well.