Having Happiness for Others

As now the Olympics have just passed, that magical time that rolls around every 4 years and the whole world forgets their trouble and watches their star athletes compete for gold.

It’s beautiful when you stop to consider that, for 1 or 2 weeks we aren’t thinking about nuclear crisis or bomb blasts and the news is merely a medal count. War for that time is merely a matter of gold, silver, or bronze.

It’s also a time when we embrace the winners. It doesn’t matter what country they were born in, or what flag hangs over the podium. For that brief moment the world realizes they are witnessing a triumph for someone, being part of one of the greatest moments in their lives, and everyone is universally happy for them.

Why can’t we take this with us into our daily lives? Having and sharing in happiness with others is a key component in enjoying your own happiness. Say that you and your friend work at the same job, they receive a promotion and you do not, what is your reaction?

It’s easy to say, “Well I do just as much as they do! What’s wrong with me?” and fall into a trap of envy and reproach. If you take a step back though, you might find an answer and with that a solution. Perhaps they are statistically better. Ask what “numbers” they made last quarter (or whatever applies) and decide if you’d like to set a goal for yourself.  If not, no worries at least you are self accepting; relax into that.  Perhaps they’re just better with people; get some tips on interacting with the boss from them, if you care to.

Almost everyone is competitive.  But there is a difference between being competitive and being envious. The medal winners hug one another at the end of an event, often commending those who did better. They are competitive, obviously, they have fought their way to the Olympics, but they are not envious. They merely state, in not-so-many words, “Next time, I’ll be better.”

We can hug our friend who got the promotion, joke that now they’re getting a raise they’ll have to buy lunch for a week, and even let them know that next time it will be us! Sharing in their happiness is key to staying happy within ourselves. It’s a positive answer to our “bad” outlooks and allows us to open up to another world of possibilities.

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