Selfish and Unselfish Goals
Robert Kiyosaki

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 drug-related issues.

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.

In my 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.

Two 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.

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Goals are simply tools to focus your energy in positive directions; they can be
changed as your priorities change, new ones added, and others dropped.

O. Carl Simonton



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