Happiness is you. One of my favorite quotes is from the Dalai Lama. He said in response to the question: ”How is it possible to be happy when seeing so much misery and tragedy every day?”.
But who can help if you are unhappy? ~Dalai Lama
And this is it. That’s the answer. Happiness is you, first and foremost.
We grow up learning that what we do affects the mood of our parents. If we behave a certain way, we get more or less love from them. Because we want to be loved by our parents, we become little entertainment machines for them. This distracts us from our own happiness.
In this process, we unlearn what makes US happy. As we get older we become little people-pleasers. We think that we will only be loved by other people if we make them happy. But this cannot be further from the truth.
Making other people happy only works when you are happy first.
Thus before we try to help other people, before we try to make them happy, we have to take care of our own happiness first!
Nothing matters more- happiness is you
Nothing is more important than your happiness. Think about that: people come and people go. Why wasting your time and energy on someone who will disappear in two months?
If you spend all your time and energy trying to make other people happy you will run out of energy quickly. You will be drained and depressed. You will end up wondering: What the hell am I doing?
And that’s it: Your life is not about other people. Your life is about YOU. Your happiness matters. Not other people’s happiness.
I know this sounds super exocentric. But this is the necessary step for you to take right now: Be egocentric for a month. For a year. For two years. It doesn’t matter. Take care of yourself first, before giving to other people.
Fill your own cup first
Happiness is you. Happiness is filling your own cup first. You can’t give and help from an empty cup. You have to fill your own cup first. It’s as simple as leaving a party early because you don’t feel that staying there will make you happy.
It’s as simple as taking a day off to nurture yourself with good food and candles.
Giving comes naturally when your cup is full
After a long period of focusing on yourself and making yourself happy, you will get a natural desire to go out and give to people. A natural desire to help other people become happy and fulfilled. This giving will be natural. This giving will come from an overflowing cup and not from an empty cup.
You will help people because you have the energy to do that. Your happiness is not dependent on other people’s love and approval. Your cup is full. You are already happy. There is nothing to take from other people.
The giving will not drain your energy. You have a have a lot of energy and happiness for yourself and thus you give from a place of abundance not from a place of lack.
You can’t give and help all the time. You have to take care of yourself constantly. It’s good to schedule periods of time in your day or in your week when you spend time alone to nurture yourself.
I call this recharging your batteries.
The only reason I can do what I do right now, working 10 hours a day on stuff I love, is because I recharge my batteries constantly. I always take a time off. I take care of myself constantly.
Before I was able to help other people, I went through a period of three years where I radically filled my own cup. I made no excuses at that time. If I felt like leaving a party before everyone else, I did that (and I still do that).
As the years passed by my cup got fuller and fuller and now I am giving from the overflow. Now with a lot of energy and love for people, I am fulfilled, I am on track. But this is still an ongoing journey. Every day I have to make sure that my cup is full, that I AM HAPPY FIRST.
We need happy people who help other people become happy and fulfilled. We need joy and fun in the world.
You have to make yourself happy first. You have to take care of yourself constantly before you go out and help other people.
picture: NicoBorie (CC0 Public Domain)