Hellen Keller once said, “Many people have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”
I believe what Hellen Keller speaks of is Joy. While happiness is something that happens to us, joy comes from within. When one is committed to a worthy ideal, a worthy purpose, one is no longer waiting to arrive. Instead we recognize that the journey is the highest and most precious prize. No longer do we find ourselves waiting for better times, or seeking the ephemeral gratifications that life has to offer.
Earl Nightingale said, Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. I cannot think of a better definition. Lasting success yields lasting joys because our treasures are stored up, not in things, but worthy ideals.
One of the turning points in my life was when I realized this sentiment. I use to yearn for someone or something to quench my thirst for contentment and color the pallid landscapes of my life. Every one of these fruitless endeavors I sought provided what I was yearning for. It was only when I realized that what I longed for was nothing this world could offer. It was what I could offer this world. This penchant ignited a flame within me as I began searching for ways to offer myself to people in need. I soon saw a world in need of real truth. What they yearned for was living water that can quench their thirst for a life more abundantly.
The fidelity that Hellen Keller speaks of is helping people discover this Truth. It requires that we die to ourselves, our gratifications and our selfish desires, and offer ourselves up as messengers of this truth. We must accept life as a journey where we give ourselves to others. This is by no means an easy task, but it is the only way to attain lasting joy, or the true happiness that Hellen Keller speaks of.