Saturday Musings - How To Find Happiness

Saturday Musings - How To Find Happiness

Many people feel that life is all about accumulating money, power or girls/guys. They believe that as long as you quest for these three things then they’ll be happy. Sadly, many people who attain the heights of what they believe is the epitome of success discover that happiness is nothing about any of those things at all.

A number of years ago I was at a dinner with a large group of guys at a business function. Each person around the table was trying to outdo the person next to them by telling stories about how great they were. Ultimately, the conversation degenerated into how many girls each of them had conquered and in their eyes this seemed to prove they were “real men”.

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I sat quietly eating my dinner until finally someone asked me to tell them my “stories”. I explained to them that I’d been married for nearly three decades, faithful all the time and incredibly happy with my life. I wasn’t judging any of them but just stating a fact from my own life.

There was stunned silence and then almost tentatively a number of them began to ask me how I’d managed to be with the same girl all of my life. Despite the bravado, each of them was yearning for a measure of happiness that they really weren’t finding.

In my experience, if you want to find true lasting happiness in life then you need to be committed to whatever you put your hand to. In the case of my marriage, I’m absolutely committed to Roselyn. What happens when you’re really committed is that all of your own flaws get exposed. You can put a brave mask on with friends and fake it but that façade slips down when you’re relaxed at home.

A number of years ago I had a revelation. I discovered that I couldn’t change my wife at all. Only she could do that. Likewise, she couldn’t change me…..only I could. So the adventure of my life is about changing myself into a better person because I love her so much. So the focus then became on how do I improve myself for my wife.

For example, let me share with you a silly story that had a profound impact on my life. When I was first married I went down to the local store and bought some chocolate and chips for Roselyn and I to munch on while we watched a movie. Upon arriving home Roselyn looked on sadly and in resignation said, “Oh…..I thought that you knew I didn’t like that flavoured chip?”

Why was this important to me? It highlighted that I hadn’t been paying attention to Roselyn and that I really didn’t know even her most basic likes and dislikes. I then made it my mission to change myself and really pay attention to her.

Once I made this decision a strange thing happened. The more I paid attention to her the happier I became. In other words, the more I paid attention to Roselyn’s desires the more mine were met…..it was like magic! Being a relatively smart individual I quickly worked out that this principle worked in many aspects of my life.

The more I paid attention to servicing clients the more my businesses prospered. The more closely I paid attention to my business partner the better our working relationship. I’m the first to say that I’m not perfect and regularly mess it up but I am absolutely focused on my long-term goal of learning about people and changing myself. I do this because of a deep rooted desire to show love, compassion and empathy with those around me.

So happiness is not about getting something from those people around you. Happiness is all about changing yourself so that you can better serve others. I know that this sounds a little backwards but let me assure you that I’ve found it works.

Have a great weekend!

Michael

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Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. He has also recently published his first science fiction book, Battleframe.

Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face. Due to demands on his time, Michael may be contacted by clicking here for limited consulting assignments.

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Saturday Musings - Finding True Happiness

Saturday Musings - Finding True Happiness

So it’s been Thanksgiving this past week….for the people in North America anyway. We don’t have this holiday in the rest of the world but it shouldn’t stop us from being grateful for the good things in life.

A number of years ago I heard a message at church where the minister challenged the congregation to develop an “attitude of gratitude”. I completely agree with him. Particularly in western countries we have so much to be thankful for and yet for some reason we seem to be some of the unhappiest people on the planet.

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Research organisation Gallup Inc, created a “Happiest Countries” scale from a number of metrics and then published the results with the Australian Broadcasting Commission. What was interesting was that countries such as Mali in Africa was only 2 points behind the USA. Where is Mali you may ask? In the midst of suffering from Ebola in West Africa.

About 12 months ago there was a great Youtube video produced by nigahiga called “First World Problems”. The video’s has over ten million views but it really depicts many of the so called problems that we face in the west are plainly rediculous. Where some people are happy with getting a good meal we stress and worry about the size of our televisions.

So at this time of Thanksgiving I think that there are so many things to be grateful and happy about. Family and friends for a start. The incredible domain industry that many of us work in. How about having a roof over your head and food on the table….they seem pretty good to me.

So how do you really get happy? From my experience it’s not how “I” can get happy….it’s all about how “I” can make someone else happy. When we think of others something magical happens…..we ended up frinding true happiness ourselves. When we focus on trying to make ourselves happy then it all just seems so false.

So here’s my advice, if you want to be really happy. Think about doing something special for one person and be grateful for all the things that you have. Do these two things and you’ll be amazed at what you will discover about life.

Please leave comments about your own experiences here….I’d love to read about them!

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Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face.
Click here to arrange time with Michael
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