Four years ago, film critic Roger Ebert lost his lower jaw to cancer, and with it his ability to speak and eat. While his TV career is over, he is still a prolific writer, and living his life to the fullest.
Yesterday, Chief Happiness Officer Alexander Kjerulf posted a link to an article about Ebert in Esquire, including what I think is the most valuable gem, buried on the last page of the article. The article quotes Ebert describing his philosophy of life:
I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn't always know this, and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.
It's easy to read that, nod your head in agreement, and let it drop into the vague memory banks of something you once read. But I encourage you to stop right now and give yourself five minutes to really consider what that means.
What would your life look like if this were the central organizing principle of everything you do? To bring joy and to experience joy. Would you be making the same decisions you're making right now? Would you be focusing on the same things as you're focusing on?
Try this: For the next week, do a joy experiment. Every day, ask yourself, "How can I contribute joy to the world?" Look for ways to help people. Look for opportunities to make people smile, or feel special, or loved. Complement that by asking a second question, "How can I experience more joy?"
Ask those two questions every day when you wake up. Put them on a card in your wallet. Put a recurring time in your calendar to pause and ponder them. The more you ask yourself those two questions, the more opportunity you will see to answer them.
-- Time for a career change? Launch it with... -- by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst
The Occupational Adventure Guide:
A Travel Guide to the Career of Your Dreams
Time for a career change? Launch it with...
by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst