As with so many things in life, for every action there is
a reaction. If a person is unhappy, he may do
something to make him happy; for example, like drink
alcohol. Feeling low, he may go to a bar, drink a
lot, and feel happy. The next day, he pays for his
happiness with a hangover. Do this on a regular
basis and that unhappy person becomes an alcoholic, still
in search of happiness.
Others take chemical drugs to escape their pain and
unhappiness. According to the Washington Post,
today in America, more than one in every one hundred
people are in jail, as many as 20 percent, for
Being in jail is not my idea of heaven. Some people
go shopping to relieve the pain. Money is their
drug. The more money they have, the more they
shop. Rather than finding heaven, they find hell,
living under a mountain of credit card debt.
My drug of choice is food. When I am unhappy, I
eat. When I'm eating, I feel happy. The
problem is, the more I eat, the fatter I become. The
fatter I become, the more unhappy I get, so I eat more,
become fatter, and become even more unhappy.
attempt to reach heaven through food, I wind up in
hell. Many people seek to solve their unhappiness
through religion. Many have so many problems they
feel they cannot solve them, and they seek salvation by
hoping God will save them from their hell here on earth.
So what is happiness?
I am sure this question will be asked through the
ages. And I doubt there is one answer for all
people. Like heaven and hell, one person's happiness
can be another person's unhappiness, which is why I'm not
attempting to tell you what to do to find your
happiness. I have enough trouble finding and hanging
onto my own true happiness.
One important lesson I learned from Dr. Fuller was the
idea of having "unselfish goals." In other
words, goals that follow the general principle of
"the more people I serve, the more effective I
become." This idea fit my mother and father's
values of being of service to their community. In
December of 1984, when Kim and I took our leap of faith,
we took the leap with unselfish goals in mind. As I
have already said, it was the worse year of our lives.
It was not a happy time.
Today, Kim and I have found happiness by having selfish as
well as unselfish goals. Our happiness comes from
being of service, feeling that our work makes a difference
in people's lives, and that we are contributing to solving
some of our world's current problems. We also have
selfish goals, goals such as making enough money to create
a standard of living that suits us. We would not be
happy being poor, working at a job we did not love,
working with people we did not like, living below our
means in a dangerous neighborhood, not being able to
afford health care or the finer things of life.
Work is an important aspect of happiness and
unhappiness. Even though our work is often
challenging and filled with problems, ultimately our work
makes us happy. We realize that, for millions of
people, their work makes them unhappy. For millions,
work is just about money. . . .
One of the most valuable lessons I learned from my mom and
dad was the answer to my question, "What is
happiness?" The happiest days in their lives
were the days they both worked for President Kennedy's
Peace Corps. Dad took a break from the education
department, and he and Mom spent their days, nights, and
weekends working side by side at the Peace Corps training
center in Hilo, preparing young people to be of service to
the world. As a young man preparing to go to war, I
saw the happiness that working together at spiritual work
brought my mom and dad. I never forget that
happiness. . . .
Kim and I believe in working to create heaven on
earth--while we are here and after we have left this
earth. We find happiness working together in our
life's work, just as working together for the Peace Corps
brought true happiness for my mom and dad. Finding
happiness by doing our spirit's work is the best gift Mom
and Dad have given their children.
That is not to say that our work is uniquely significant,
special, or that important. Any work that adds value
and is of service to life is important and special.
For example, the person who drives a school bus has a very
important and special task. I am glad there are
people who want to do this job, and I would hope they love
what they do.
people, born of the same parents into the same household
with the same childhood experiences, found themselves on
distinctly different paths toward God, money, and
happiness. Robert became a world-famous
entrepreneur, author, and teacher of al things
financial. Emi became a highly devout Buddhist nun,
author, and teacher of all things spiritual. Rich
Brother Rich Sister will reaffirm your belief in the
power of purpose, the importance of action, and the
ability to overcome obstacles in a quest for a rich life.