How do YOU find happiness? Well that is a big question!

Don’t you think?

And it really is different for everyone.  Happiness, I mean.  One person is happy eating, another person feels their happiest depriving themselves of food. One person loves to do active things in their leisure time, others like more peaceful, supine pastimes.  Happiness can be simply being caught outside on a windy day and feeling all of nature all around as you give in to the feel of the wind against you.  Happiness can be dancing in the rain, getting wet and for once just loving it before the inevitable uncomfortable removal of clothes stuck to you as you reach for the shower.  Happiness is being with someone you love who loves you back.  Happiness is finding the job/business you love and giving yourself to it completely.  Happiness can be any number of things.

In the purchase of a house perhaps

I have always thought of happiness as being temporary and not something to look for or chase after.  I have always considered joy to be more real, more deep, more long lasting but maybe I am just being pedantic.

Anyway, why am I thinking of this?

Today, I attended a networking event – 4networking, to be precise – in Wolverhampton.  As an aside, it is a great networking organization to belong to.  Give me a shout if you ever want to attend a local event and I will come with you.

Happiness On a beach?

Anyway, back to the matter at hand.  At each meeting there is a speaker and today, it was the founder, Brad Burton.  Truthfully, I have heard varying things about him but I was open. No, the talk was not on the subject ‘How do you find happiness’ but that is what it got me thinking about.

He started by telling a story.  Let me tell it in my own words ( which may well be his own words, who knows…)

Seth’s Story

Imagine Seth, a guy who worked in a large international supermarket.  He had spent his whole working life within this supermarket – 52 years to be exact.  This had been his first job as soon as he was 15/16 and now at 68, it was his time to leave.  Over the years, he had watched the supermarket grow from one branch to two, three, ten, twenty, fifty and then suddenly, they were popping up all over the place.  He was glad for it, he was happy to have a steady regular job.  OK, there were times he felt overlooked and misused but overall, he decided to be content.  You can’t expect to love the 9-5, after all. So what if he had chosen the supermarket over his kids when they were growing up.  After all, they should count themselves lucky that he was not a dead beat Dad. So what if he had never really felt compensated for the work he put into helping the supermarket become what it was.  Again, he should be happy to have had a job for that period of time… Right?

Now it was his time to retire. He had come into his last day, expecting… something to happen.  Then he gets a call.  The store manager who should be doing his final exit interview is on the line.  “Hi Seth. Well, I had been hoping to chat with you and present you with a plaque and things but you know how it is. The branch up here in Bristol needs me so I cannot come see you today but well, thanks for all your hard work and Good luck.  The duty manager should see you later”.

“Erm…Thanks.” says Seth

Later, towards the end of the shift, he is called into the darkened stock room and presented with a cake – he recognises it as one of the ones he had just put a ‘reduced price’ sticker on (in fact, it still has the sticker on it!).  He also gets a card with signatures in it and then his shift is up.

Retirement?

And that’s it. 52 years over.  He walks home.

Is that happiness? Spending your whole life just trying to pay the bills. Is that it?

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