What will it take for you to be happy?

ben franklin happiness

A lot of us pin our happiness to external factors: if only we had more money; or a better house; or whatever your latest want is, but your happiness has been and always will be right inside yourself.

That concept is liberating because it finally puts you in charge of your own happiness. That’s why I’m excited about this book that BJ Gallagher and Mac Anderson teamed up to write, The Road to Happiness. Many of you are familiar with the special “touch” that BJ brings to her books through her stories and her original poetry.

Today, in celebration of the International Day of Happiness, I’d like to share an inspirational story from The Road to Happiness that will start you thinking about where your happiness truly lives.

From The Road to Happiness
by Mac Anderson and BJ Gallagher

When I travel on business, I like to talk to the taxi drivers who take me from the airport to my hotel, or to a convention center, or to a restaurant. Taxi drivers are often immigrants with interesting personal histories and unusual cultural backgrounds. I ask them how long they’ve been in America, how they chose which city to live in, and what they like best about where they live. Of course, I also ask them for advice on good local restaurants and any special attractions they’d recommend to a visitor. I’ve had some great experiences on my travels, thanks to the advice of taxi drivers!

On one trip about ten years ago, I was making conversation with the taxi driver, asking him my usual questions about how he came to live where he lived. Then I asked him a hypothetical question: “If you could live anywhere in the world” and if money was no object, where would you live?

Without hesitating even for a second, he replied, “I live in my heart. So it really doesn’t matter where my body lives. If I am happy inside, then I live in Paradise, no matter where my residence is.”

I felt humbled and a little foolish for my question. Of course he was right, happiness is an inside job. He had reminded me of something I already knew, but had forgotten. If you can’t find happiness inside yourself, you’ll never find it in the outside world, no matter where you move. Wherever you go, there you are. You take yourself with you.

I am grateful for the wisdom of that taxi driver. And I’m grateful for all the wisdom others have shared with me about how to be happy.

So, ask yourself, “What will it take for me to be happy?”

Let me know what you think! :)

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