“If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.”~Chinese proverb
We’ve all been told that it’s better to give than to receive… right?
Well, turns out, there’s real science behind it.
While I was researching for and creating our eCourse, The Philosophy of YOU and Your (inspired!) Life, I came across an article called The Science Behind the Power of Giving on LiveScience.com. It said:
Scientific data proves that when we’re giving to others, we experience a euphoric feeling that researchers call the “helper’s high.” It seems that when we make somebody else happy, we become happier ourselves.
I was so moved by an incredible story in the article that I immediately updated my Happy Formula:
From: Capacity + Purpose = Happy
To: Capacity + Purpose + Giving = really Happy
I love that science can affirm the amazing power that giving has to improve one’s life, and I couldn’t agree more. I’ve experienced that euphoric feeling that comes from the fourth element of ‘Significance’ ¹— “doing work that creates value for others.” I’ve experienced, firsthand, how the Magic of life comes not from getting more but from giving more!
But there’s something more to it? Something was missing and I’ve been trying to figure it out. I’ve been thinking about it and exploring it with my amazing guests on The Something Significant Show.
I’ve been thinking about the pure joy that it brings me when a reader is inspired by my books and then creates a better life after reading them. I can remember at one conference, someone I’d never met, came up and told me that my book, Turning Inspiration Into Action, “changed his mom’s life.” I didn’t even know him or his mom but hearing about her reaction to my book was thrilling to me… but why?
Virtually all my guests on the show have the same reaction. When an energy coach helps his clients decode the energy playing out in their life and body and brings positive and lasting change into their lives… or another helps someone discover the need to reduce the toxic burden in their life, implement a plan, and create a toxic-free, thriving, healthy, and confident life… or another helps a client that’s suffering from illness and feeling overwhelmed with life, and she helps her achieve health and life results she didn’t believe possible… All of them, one guest after another affirms that doing work that creates value for others and lifts them up and helps them to live better lives… well, that brings to the giver absolutely pure, thrilling, joy!!!
And then, I finally figured out why…
All of them… all my guests… and me too… We’re all living and working from our true, authentic, inspired selves. We’re living in our purpose. My books are pure me—from my heart. If I recommend someone else’s book to you and that improves your life, yes, that will make me happy. But if you read one of my books and it improves your life, well, that’s absolutely thrilling to me (it gave me goosebumps when I first wrote these words!) Because I’m not just giving you something of value. No, I’m giving you a piece of my true, authentic, inspired self. A real piece of me from my soul. So, it’s deeply personal and meaningful and it’s my reason for being on this planet. And so, when you get value from it, WOW! It creates a great BIG profound joy within me. Every single time.
So, it’s not just the giving that’s magical. It’s giving from living in my purpose. That’s where my magic is… and that’s where yours is, too!
Here’s more from the LiveScience article:
Today, scientific research provides compelling data to support the notion that giving one’s time, talents and treasures is a powerful pathway to finding purpose, transcending difficulties, and finding fulfillment and meaning in life.
So, giving does more than just make us happier. Giving also helps us discover our purpose in life. The act of giving itself can be a gateway to discovering your reason for being on this planet. Let me share the incredible story in the article that impacted me so much.
The morning of Dec. 26, 2004, Czech model Petra Nemcova, then age 25, and her fiancé, photographer Simon Atlee, 33, were vacationing in the resort town of Khao Lak, Thailand. They had met two years earlier on a photo shoot and were living out a fairy tale long-distance romance. Nemcova lived in New York, while Atlee lived in London, and they were always traveling around the world, wherever their jobs took them. Nemcova planned the vacation in Thailand as a special surprise for Atlee, who had never been there. They had spent the first few days on a scuba-diving cruise, sleeping under the stars.
Petra said, “It was just so, so beautiful. It’s just strange how, in the split of a second, everything can change so much.”
That morning, came one of the strongest earthquakes in recorded history, triggering a series of devastating tsunamis along the coasts of the Indian Ocean. Nemcova and Atlee were in their bungalow when the first wave hit.
Petra said, “I heard people screaming, and people running away. Everyone was so frantic.” Then, the water flooded their bungalow and pulled them outside in seconds. “Simon was screaming, ‘Petra, Petra, what’s going on?'” All the windows in the bungalow broke, and Nemcova was swept into a current of debris, breaking her pelvis and disabling her legs. She didn’t know that after that moment, she would never see the love of her life again. “He again screamed, ‘Petra, Petra.’ It was the last time she saw him.” The tsunami left a trail of destruction in 14 countries and killed more than 230,000 people — including Simon.
The next day Nemcova was transferred by helicopter to a hospital. Her pelvis was so badly fractured near her spine that doctors said it was a miracle she wasn’t paralyzed; she had also lost half her blood from internal injuries that included a hematoma on her kidney. She spent the next few weeks recovering in a hospital in Thailand, and then in her parents’ home in the Czech Republic. But barely a year later, still recovering from her physical and emotional wounds, she returned to Thailand to start up the Happy Hearts Fund (now called All Hands and Hearts) with the vision of rebuilding schools and the lives of young victims of natural disasters, and overcoming her grief in the process.
By giving, she said, “you can heal faster emotionally, but also physically. There’s a selfish element in it, really. When we make someone happy, we become even happier. If you decide yourself that you will help in some way, you will benefit the most because it will create amazing joy. Those who are not doing anything are missing out on a very profound joy.”
There it is again… just like my podcast guests… and me… and Petra, too. All of us saying that doing work that creates value for others and lifts them up and helps them to live better lives creates in the giver a profound joy!!!
So, PURPOSE and GIVING make this great big happy circle. Giving your time, and talents and treasures is a powerful pathway to finding purpose and giving from living in your purpose brings profound joy to your life.
Giving leads to purpose and giving from purpose leads to joy!
And that’s the exponential power of the Happy Formula:
Capacity + Purpose + Giving = Happy to the 3rd power… and that’s really, truly, deeply Happy.
And that’s what I want for you!
I’m wishing you all the happy and success in life that you can possibly imagine…
If you’re struggling to find your purpose in life, your reason for being on this planet, then our eCourse could be just the thing for you. The Philosophy of YOU and Your (inspired!) Life was specifically designed to help you create the space and confidence you need to become self-inspired… to discover your true, authentic self, in spirit… and to achieve your own greatness in life, as you define it. In eight weeks, we’ll help you develop the philosophy of YOU and your inspired life and never look back. That’s my promise to you.
At Happy Living, our unique definition of ‘Significance’ contains four elements; doing work you love, with people you love, in places you love… but we believe the real MAGIC of life comes from the fourth element of Significance; creating something that adds value to others, too.↩
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