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True Happiness

We’re all searching for our true passion in life. To me, the key to finding our purpose is to first find true happiness within ourselves. When I think of true happiness I think of the kind of happiness that is not attached to another person or thing. True happiness cannot be found by obtaining something or having somebody; it exists in understanding, appreciation, and the ability to be present. Twelve years ago, when I was backpacking through India, I read a story. It went something like this…

A middle-aged man approached the Buddha and said, “Buddha… I want happiness,” and the Buddha smiled brightly and said “That is easy, first remove the ‘I’, that is ego, then remove the ‘want’, that is desire, and then what are you left with…?”

When we spend our lives just “wanting,” we tend to get lost. We forget about what we have and are unable to find appreciation in the present moment.

Several months later, I was walking down a street in Cambodia. It was a beautiful, sunny day. Up ahead, I saw a young man sitting in the dirt on the side of the road. He was missing an arm and had propped himself up on some old burlap rice sacks. He was carving a 7-foot statue of Ganesha, the Hindu deity, and he had a huge smile on his face. I sat down next to him and asked him if he had lost his arm in a land mine and he said yes. I asked him what made him happy and he said that he loved practicing devotion by carving, and that it was very nice outside. He explained how fortunate he felt that God had allowed him to keep his right arm so that he could continue to carve stone. Since that day, my perception of my own situation has never been the same. Two days later, I was in a temple in Angkor Wat and decided to start a company called Pangea.

True happiness is not about finding our path – it’s about finding the fertile soil in which our lives can grow and change.

Strength and Wisdom.