Pursuing happiness when it’s already within you (from Zen Habits)

I think this article below is very relevant to animal caregiving.

Source: http://zenhabits.net/pursuing-happiness/

There is no copyright, so I will paste the entire article below for you to read.

But just to share, the other day at Pet World, I met someone from a local shelter and she says that if only every household in Malaysia were to adopt ONE (one and only one) stray animal, it might just bring the number of strays on the streets down to ZERO.

Wow! I never knew those were the statistics!

It sounds very doable, right?

But here’s the reality, not everyone would want to adopt a stray animal. At Pet World itself, we saw so many dog owners who had brought their pets to visit. Most of the pets weren’t former street animals. In fact, more of them were pedigrees. Granted, some may have been rescued pedigrees, but some were bought pedigrees from puppy mills. Similarly, there are also kitty mills.

So, let’s get back to the thought that if every household in Malaysia were to adopt ONE stray animal, and this includes getting the animal neutered as well so that there would be no breeding, the number of strays on the street will be down to a near ZERO. And might I say that local councils can then concentrate on their other duties and there would be no need for private animal catching companies anymore (they can then do other businesses which does not involve killing – Now, here’s a thought: Maybe they can open restaurants where poor people can get a decent veggie meal for RM2 or so, wouldn’t that be good?).

It is possible (I mean, getting more people to adopt street animals).

Let’s work towards that, shall we?

So, here’s what the article below says:

In a nutshell, life isn’t about just bringing happiness upon oneself. It can be about doing some sort of service to make others happy too. By the way, those are almost the exact words of my late Chief Reverend when asked how we can be good people – Just do some service for others, he said. And he added: And learn to say, “This is enough for my family and me.” (when talking about amassing wealth for oneself).

To put it bluntly, how much can we bring along to our grave, right? If we already have enough, why don’t we use some of our wealth, time and energy to bring happiness to others while we are still alive?

Pursuing Happiness When It’s Already Within You

By Leo Babauta

One of the key learnings I’ve had since starting Zen Habits is that everything I need to be happy is already within me.

I firmly believe that, but I’ve been asked a good question: if happiness comes from within, why should you pursue anything in life?

Why should you pursue goals, achieve anything, connect with others, exercise, eat good food … if you don’t need to do any of that to be happy? It’s a great question, and I’ll answer it with a simple exercise:

Let’s assume you don’t need to do any of that to be happy. You have happiness, from within, and you can go about your day and have just about anything happen and you’ll still be happy.

Now what? You can sit there and watch TV or do absolutely nothing, and you’ll be happy. Let’s call that Choice No. 1.

Or you can take actions to make others happy, to relieve their suffering, to see that they have the tools for happiness already. Focusing on the happiness of others is Choice No. 2.

Now, with either of these choices, you’ll be happy. You can do either, and it won’t necessarily affect your happiness. But with Choice No. 2, you’re increasing the happiness of the world.

I’d argue that Choice. No. 2 is better.

And this choice, to dedicate your time to helping others, relieving their suffering, making them happy … this is the motivation you can use for doing great things, for building something useful, for creating and working and being a good parent. It’s not about increasing your own happiness, but the happiness of others.

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