At my company Dragon Army, our purpose is to inspire happiness. I know that sounds lofty, like the kind of thing a company says so it can put it on a website to attract top talent. To some listeners, it may sound a little trite or hollow.
Inspiring happiness may be the most important thing any of us ever does. Life is short, often hard, and the quality of our lives varies moment by moment. But if we can inspire happiness for and in one another, it makes all our lives better.
Inspiring happiness improves two lives at once
If I inspire happiness in someone else’s life, both our lives are positively affected. I’m happier for having helped someone else. The person I helped is happier because, you know, I inspired happiness in them.
If I said to you, “if you give someone ten dollars, you will get ten dollars too.” How long would it take you to give away that money? And, if you could do that over and over and over again, wouldn’t you? Any smart person would give away as many ten-dollar bills as possible because, in doing so, they would become wealthy while making others wealthy!
That’s what inspiring happiness is like. By inspiring happiness in someone else, you become happier in the process.
Inspiring happiness overflows into the world
In the example above, we both got rich by giving away as many ten-dollar bills as possible. It was great, right? If that happened, would it only affect the two of us? Of course not. It would impact our families and friends too. We could do things like travel more with our family, throw extravagant parties for our friends, and support our community as we buy expensive sports cars and pay a ton of taxes!
Ok, if we were rich, we may not do any of those things. But you get my point. Wealth never affects only one person; it impacts a community. Happiness is the same way. If I can inspire happiness in you, making us both happier in the process, the people around both of us are positively affected as well — the whole community benefits.
Inspiring happiness leaves a legacy
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
— Maya Angelou
We all want to be remembered. And, most of us mistakenly think we will be remembered for what we did and said. That may be true of world leaders, famous authors, and unicorn startup founders, but for the rest of us, it’s not.
The most memorable people in my life, and I bet in yours too, are the ones who stirred my heart. It’s those people that made me smile, challenged my thinking, or pushed me to be better, that I will remember. My school teacher, school custodian, parent, grandparent, friend, and coach are among the people that inspired my happiness most.
Our most significant accomplishment in life, as measured by its enduring impact on the world, is how well we spurred others on toward their greatness.
Inspiring happiness in others isn’t natural. It requires diligence, patience, passion, and thoughtfulness. It requires a selflessness that is hard to find and easy to lose. Inspiring happiness may be the most important thing we do as we walk this earth. And, perhaps, it should become the standard by which we measure our success.
If you enjoyed this article, please consider signing up for my weekly newsletter. Every Friday, I’ll send you an email with interesting things I’ve read, seen, or written that week. You will gain leadership insights, fun learning, and productivity hacks, among other things.