For her first session, Desiree was impeccably dressed as if for a magazine spread. Tall and blond with a fierce scowl of impatience, she quickly regaled me with her success story. Before he was 35, he built a business that made him a multimillionaire. Her beach house had just been featured in a leading decorating magazine. She and her husband traveled a lot and had fun. They often appeared on the public pages of the local newspaper. Desiree had achieved everything she had hoped for, but she felt confused and unhappy.

“What happened to me? It has everything I want. I look after my best friend from college. She is very happy to work for a non-profit agency. My other friend is a school teacher. They both seem very happy and part of what I do. I want to find something that makes me happy!” he said.

After ruling out health, relationship, and depression issues, I asked her, “Besides being happy and successful, what do you really care about?” Desiree froze.

“How does your work, talent, and effort help others?” I asked.

“I dont know. I’m always there for my employees, so I don’t know how it helps them. My husband likes me,” she laughed.

“So your business provides employment to people. Doesn’t that help them?” I asked.

“Well, I guess the job helps them support themselves,” he said. “Should I be doing something else in my life that would make me happier?” he asked.

“It seems that you were not happy to be a big success. “Maybe you’ll feel happier by focusing on something else,” I said. I sent him home on an errand. Instead of thinking about his own happiness, he should have examined exactly how his talents and efforts contributed to the greater good.

In the next session, Desiree shared a list of ways her business and other activities have helped others. “I had to ask my husband for help with this,” she said. “I usually just focus on results.”

I asked him how it felt to feel connected to others in society in an important way.

“It feels better,” he said. “It makes me want to do more. “I thought it might be fun to host a charity fundraiser this year.” he said.

After a few more sessions, Desiree learned the secret to happiness and well-being. Kindness to others provides greater happiness dividends than self-centered achievement. Simply thinking differently about our connection to the larger community can create a sense of purpose and well-being.

Take a moment to think about how you are affecting others right now. How does your work intersect with the wider community around you? How would you like to influence others? The next one frazzle hack it can help you explore your connection to the larger community around you. Take some time to think about your goals and record your answers on your page frazzle hack magazine:

Frazzle Hack: Big Good Goals

  • How do your unique personality traits, talents, skills, background or interests help your family, friends and the wider community? (Humor, technical skills, friendliness, communication skills, creativity, reliability, sensitivity, health, safety, technical knowledge, etc.)

  • How do you make a positive contribution to the lives of others? (Provide services, products, orders, companionship, transportation, friendship, information, etc.)

  • Who benefits the most from your contributions? (Customers, family, city, country, etc.)

  • How do you want to influence the people in your sphere of influence? (Better service, kindness, education, safety, fun, support, love, security, etc.)

  • What change would you like to help create in the world? (Happier customers, healthy children, better service, more efficient products/services, safety, healthy environment, helping the poor, humane treatment of animals, etc.)

  • Who can you join to help affect this change? (Church groups, friends, coworkers, environmental groups, charities, service clubs, community organizations, online communities, etc.)

  • How can you develop or grow to make a greater positive difference? (Education, communication, exercise, reading, better self-care, more rest, connecting with others, volunteering, etc.)

Notice how you feel when you think about yourself in the larger context of your family and community. Big Good Goals can provide that spark of motivation to help you persevere when things seem overwhelming.

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