Michael Gilmour's Blog

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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”.

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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Comments 1

 
Rawgi on Friday, 24 June 2016 02:16
Happiness

I have always thought that one should work hard, be honest and try to help others. In other words , always be the best you can be. In these later years I find that I really like to help people with little things, might be help a child fix that bike they don't know how to work on, or give a hand with something a friend has to get done. I figure I learned all the trades and knowledge to help others and maybe make it a bit less stressful. I always look for the smile, there are more important things in life besides money. Being in Maintenance for Property management groups has given me many opportunity s to be of help. I have many more trades and schooling than most people and reached 49 working years this year. Now its time to retire and rest, Ha ha, that won't happen. Anyway sorry to rant but hope you see where I am coming from. The more you stop and pay attention to detail, ( especially with your wife ), the easier and more enjoyable life can be.

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I have always thought that one should work hard, be honest and try to help others. In other words , always be the best you can be. In these later years I find that I really like to help people with little things, might be help a child fix that bike they don't know how to work on, or give a hand with something a friend has to get done. I figure I learned all the trades and knowledge to help others and maybe make it a bit less stressful. I always look for the smile, there are more important things in life besides money. Being in Maintenance for Property management groups has given me many opportunity s to be of help. I have many more trades and schooling than most people and reached 49 working years this year. Now its time to retire and rest, Ha ha, that won't happen. Anyway sorry to rant but hope you see where I am coming from. The more you stop and pay attention to detail, ( especially with your wife ), the easier and more enjoyable life can be.