I woke up in my small apartment in Los Angeles the other day with a nostalgic feeling; it was my one-year anniversary of having moved to the big city, all on my own. I sat on my balcony with a sense of accomplishment and reflection while I watched the morning colors fade in, reminiscing about the past year.
What I realized in that moment was that I have been given so, so much. A beautiful place to live, in a beautiful city with a steady job and a good group of friends. I mean, don’t get me wrong: I am not living the celebrity life by any stretch of the imagination. I see people drive by in their shiny cars that could be sold to support a small village and it makes me get a small, perplexed lump in my throat. But I have food to eat every day and a little to spare, which makes me one of the richest people in the world.
Anyway, I was thinking about all of these things when I realized that I have everything I THINK I need… and yet I’m still not totally happy. When I say happy, I mean like, the fulfilled kind of happy. Not the Disneyland kind of happy (which is great! but only lasts so long). And I wondered: when are the times in my life I remember being the most fulfilled-happy? Right away, I knew what was missing.
Whenever I have been able to give to someone, it makes me happy. Whether that is inviting a friend over to cook them a meal, donating my time at a homeless shelter, serving at my church, or visiting an orphanage in Mexico, I have been the most fulfilled by living for something other than myself. Whenever I have been able to live with PURPOSE, it is amazingly fulfilling.
So, after all is said and done, I could have more money to buy more shiny things, but I won't be as happy as if I am able to really help people. And I don't think I am at the place to quit my job and go into full-blown Mother Theresa mode, and I think if I wait until I am a really rich philanthropist I'll be waiting for maybe ever. But if there is a way that I can do something right now, with what I have, like, every day, to help make the world better... that's what I really want.
How about you all? What is it that you really want in life? It's good for us to think about, right?