Jenny Santi in her article ‘The Secret to Happiness Is Helping Others’ states that helping others may seem like it doesn’t make a big different on making our lives happier, but it has a huge impact. When it seems as if we are forced to give back to others, it doesn’t make us happy which is why we should never have to feel that. No matter how much we help people, we can guarantee it will make us or them happy. There are 6 easy steps to help out with this: find your passion; give your time; give to organizations with transparent aims and results; find ways to integrate your interests and skills with the needs of others; be proactive, not reactive; don’t be guilt-tripped into giving.
In his ‘Less Stuff, More Happiness’ speech at TED, Graham Gill talks about how happiness is like moving around from apartment to apartment. When you move to a new place, you think about how you only need a certain about of things but then over the months/years you gather things and forget about them until you have to move again. That’s when you realize that all the things you have gathered were things that made you happy during that short period of time. Happiness is when you have more space and you can fill it up with memories and laughs and not physical objects that just collects dust and by the time you remember about it, you are moving and throwing it out.
After going through both the TED talk and the article, you are able to tell that happiness comes in many different ways. It can be helping others or giving up things that may not be important to you but can impact their lives. Many of the things that you may think are important to you, really only meant barley anything. Everything in life that impacts you doesn’t have to be objects. Just the smallest gestures can be that one ‘object’ in life. Going out and getting food for the homeless not only makes you feel good about helping someone out but it also helps the homeless not starve to death. The one thing that you do have to be careful with helping others is to not feel like you are being forced to helping out and it having you feel guilty or sad. “Giving can make us feel depleted and taken advantage of”. Even though many people think that objects tell the story about you being happy, it’s really the opposite. It only makes you worry more about keeping track on what that object made you feel and why it made you feel that way. Spending more time stressing about keeping things in track only causes you lose the real sight of happiness. This helps you learn more about yourself and others by not make it seem as if you will ‘take’ anything that will make you happy but rather sacrifice ‘giving’ things to others.
- Hill, Graham. ‘Less Stuff, More Happiness - Graham Hill’. TED, TED-Ed, http://ed.ted.com/lessons/less-stuff-more-happiness-graham-hill#discussion.
- Santi, Jenny. ‘The Secret to Happiness Is Helping Others’. Time, Time, http://time.com/collection/guide-to-happiness/4070299/secret-to-happiness/.
- Smith, Emily Esfahani. 'There's More to Life than Being Happy'. TED, http://www.ted.com/talks/emily_esfahani_smith_there_s_more_to_life_than_being_happy