Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happiness Part two

Yesterday I asked this question

Imagine that you are absolutely guaranteed success in the pursuit of a particular goal, big or small, shortterm or long-term. Imagine that you have all the money, all the time, all the education, all the contacts, all the resources, and everything else that you could possibly need to achieve any one big goal in life. What would it be? This is a very important question because when you remove the limitation from your thinking, you often get a very clear idea of exactly what you should be doing with your life. Your greatest dream is an indication of your natural abilities and of what is really important to you.

All successful men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their fortune could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, goal or purpose. Step-by-step realization of their ideal makes them genuinely happy.

Dr. Viktor Frankl, who wrote the book Man’s Search for Meaning, said that you can divide the thing you do in life into four categories. The first category consists of the things that are hard to learn and hard to do. An example for many people is mathematics. Many of us struggled with math in school and still struggle with bookkeeping, accounting, financial statements, and tax returns as adults. If you find mathematics hard to learn and hard to do, this is the sort of activity for which you are clearly unsuited. No matter how much of it you do, or how good you get at it, you will never achieve any lasting satisfaction or happiness from it.

The next category consists of things that are hard to learn but easy to do. Riding a bicycle, driving a car, and tying your shoes are hard to learn but easy to do once you’ve practiced enough. These are seldom the sort of activities that cause you to feel terrific about yourself when you engage in them. They do not demand your best.

The third category consists of things that are easy to learn but hard to do. Physical labor falls into this category. Digging a ditch with a shovel and chopping wood with an ax are easy to learn but they are hard to do, and never get any easier.

The fourth category is the key. These are things that are easy to learn and easy to do. You seem to have a natural proclivity for them. When you are engaged in this sort of activity, time flies. The things that are easy for you to learn and do are the sort of things that you should be doing with your life. They indicate where your natural talents and abilities lie. Engaging in these activities with your whole heart, and committing yourself to become better and better, will give you all the joy, satisfaction, and happiness you could want in life.

Everyone has an area of excellence. Everyone has something that he or she can do in an outstanding fashion. It may take weeks, months, or even years for you to develop yourself in that area so that you can really perform in an extraordinary fashion, but you will be strongly attracted to that sort of activity from the beginning. You will enjoy reading about it and talking about it and thinking about it. You will find yourself admiring people who are outstanding in that area. You will look longingly at that field and wonder what it would be like to be in it and to be successful at it. That is very often your heart’s desire. That area of activity where you can become excellent is probably what you were put on this earth to do.

So resolve to persist until you succeed. The first part of courage is the resolve to launch in faith toward your objectives; the second part is your willingness to endure in the face of the inevitable disappointments and setbacks you will encounter on the road.

Let me repeat this : happiness is not an accident. Happy people are those who deliberately do the things that invariably lead to happiness. Happy people are those who know what they want and then throw their whole hearts into using their unique talents and abilities to make a contribution to the world in the achievement of their goals.

You are put on this earth with a special purpose, programmed with unique talents and abilities that have not yet been fully tapped and utilized. When you focus all your energies on unlocking your true potential, you can claim your ultimate birthright: happiness

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