The pursuit of happiness. It sounds so easy to achieve on paper, but is harder to realize in the real world. I spend a lot of time on this blog talking about choosing to live your dreams. Not in some distant future, but right now. But there are other things that are important to the happiness equation. Before I’ve discussed choosing a positive, glass-half-full attitude and living your values as keys to living a good life, but there is another important piece to the puzzle: helping others.
When you think about the happiest you could be, this probably isn’t the first thing that springs to mind. You think about winning the lottery and being able to spend the rest of your life doing whatever you want, whenever you want. If that were the case everyone who wins big at Powerball (or who retires in good health with an adequate pension) would be at the pinnacle of happiness, but it just isn’t so.
It would be nice for a while, like vacations are. But just like when you’re setting goals and you finally reach one, eventually that little niggling voice shows up, the one that whispers: “Okay, what’s next?”
Many people who could comfortably retire end up working at least part of the time and/or take up a hobby that keeps them occupied because as it turns out happiness isn’t just about getting everything you want, it’s about fulfillment as well. We don’t just want to sit on a beach all day every day drinking pina coladas, we want to feel useful, to do something, to make a difference.
Have you ever done volunteer work? Helped someone out in need? It was a pretty good feeling, wasn’t it. And that’s why you should make helping others a part of your ideal life.
Maybe you don’t have the time to do volunteer work or the extra money to donate to charities right now, that’s okay. It doesn’t have to be anything as formal as that. But for sure there is something you can do that someone else would benefit from, and it doesn’t have to be a huge investment.
If you’re stuck on how to start, try doing one nice thing for someone else every day. Maybe it’s as simple as holding the door open for someone, or letting someone who looks hurried and frazzled ahead of you at the grocery story check out. Just try it, and see how your world gets a little bit brighter.
For even better results, try finding a way to turn a hobby or something you really like doing into something that helps others. That way you get the satisfaction of doing something you love, but also the gratification of knowing that it helped someone else as well.
Which brings me to a very important point. I love writing about my journey to full-timing, and my intention is to do it in a way that helps others who are thinking about taking the plunge and trying the RV lifestyle out.
The thing is, while I can guess that the posts that get the most comments are the topics you all are most interested in, there is a lot of guess work on my part. In fact, I’m not even sure how many of you are RV hopefuls and how many of you are already RVing (or have in the past) and have joined the community for some other reason.
I want to make Interstellar Orchard a useful resource for you guys, so I have two questions below. If you can spare a bit of time to answer them in the comments, it would be most appreciated. If you want a more private venue, I can be reached at becky @ interstellarorchard [dot] com.
Why did you start reading Interstellar Orchard?
What’s the one thing you wish I would write more about?
Thanks in advance, and have a great weekend!
Image courtesy of GrowWear