The Gift of Happiness

The Gift of Happiness

We’ve been talking in this column over the last couple of weeks about the pursuit of happiness.

Today I’d like you to think about a concept that might seem a little unusual at first, but if done correctly, could have a major impact on your life.

I know that for many people it has been literally life changing.

It’s the concept that to get to happiness, first you need to give it away in abundance.

A phrase that I love and live by as often as I possibly can is “Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty”.

It’s all about doing wonderful things for others, whether you know them or not, whilst expecting nothing in return.

Author Danny Wallace popularised this in the UK almost by accident; you can read about it in his book “Join Me”.


The Gift of Happiness - Mark Darlington


You will have your own thoughts about what random acts of kindness you can perform.

What’s truly important is that you start today so you can feel the incredible lift and benefit immediately.

Whether you do it for someone you know or a complete stranger, the joy and deep satisfaction it brings is phenomenal.

You’ll also notice people treat you differently too.

In order for this concept to work, however, you need to be open to receive kindness and love back too.

I’m reminded of a story about a man wanting to know the difference between heaven and hell.

Whatever your religious views you’ll understand the meaning.

God offered to show the man hell.

They walked into a room with a group of people sat around a huge pot of delicious stew.

Everyone was famished, desperate and starving.

Each held a spoon that reached the pot, but each spoon had a handle much longer than their own arm that they couldn’t use it to get the stew into their own mouths.

The suffering was terrible.

God showed the man heaven next.

They entered another room, identical to the first – the pot of delicious stew, the group of people, the same long-handled spoons.

However, everyone in there was well nourished and happy.

“I don’t understand,” said the man. “Why are they happy in here and miserable in the other room when everything was the same?”

God smiled “Ah, it’s simple,” he said. “Here they have learned to feed each other.”

Enjoy your acts of kindness; I’d love to hear how you get on.

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