Some of you who studied Greek mythology will remember the story of Sisyphus. Sisyphus was a king who was both ingenuous…and dishonest. He got cross-ways with one of the Greek gods, and he was doomed for eternity to push a stone up a hill. Every time he would reach the top of the hill, the stone would roll back to the bottom, and he had to do it again.
I believe some people are cursed with a Sisyphus syndrome.
What am I talking about?
I’m talking about happiness. ”I’ll be happy when…or if…”
“I’ll be happy when I get this job, when I meet that person, when I have a certain amount of money.”
They view happiness as a goal, a dream, or something to be pursued.
The reality is, happiness is not any of those things. It is a state of mind. It is something you have the power to be right now.
Of course, we have goals. Of course, we have dreams. And you can loosely associate the achievement of those goals with something positive in your life. I’m not suggesting that’s not good.
It’s the concept of “I’ll be happy when…” that is the issue.
Human beings have the capability to be happy in any circumstances. I am challenging you to be happy…right now and with what you have today. It doesn’t mean that you are not pursuing more. It doesn’t mean you don’t have goals, dreams, and aspirations. And it is certainly not an excuse for not working really hard to reach those goals and make those dreams and aspirations a reality. If you know me at all, you know I am all about all of those things.
But what I am saying here is do not defer happiness.
If you don’t know how little someone can have and be happy, travel outside the United States to an area where there is real poverty. Believe it or not, you will see people who are also in a state of happiness.
Read Viktor Frankl’s unbelievable book Man’s Search for Meaning, about the state of people who were in concentration camps during World War II. Read The Diary of Anne Frank. Both document unbelievable stories of horrible and horrendous outward circumstances, but illustrate how the inner state of mind, even then, can be very peaceful, and, in fact, very happy.
Success leaves clues. Take the opportunity to read such materials, and you will see that you should not have Sisyphus syndrome. You should not defer a state of happiness to some achievement of some goal or some possession, but instead, own it right now.
I hope you found this helpful and wherever you are in this great big beautiful world, be happy, and make it a great day!