My Key to Happiness

Posted on October 13, 2014 by


Last week my coach tasked me with doing something that would make ME happy.  On Tuesday my first attempt was taking my daughters in their red wagon to the beach to play in the sand and let the cold water of Lake Michigan splash on their toes. They loved it! It was fun for me but did not feel like the happy feeling I was seeking.

My second attempt was Wednesday evening- when I helped my two daughters paint pictures for my wife’s birthday (which was on Friday). Again- my daughters loved it. I enjoyed it as well, but there’s a level of stress involved with a 3 year old and a 1 year old painting at the kitchen table that cannot be explained without the use of foul language. This still did not provide the sublime happiness I felt I had been tasked with. Keying in on my wife’s birthday, I had an understanding that a gift is just that. The giver is pleased by the act of giving and not the response of the receiver- a purely selfless act. And I believed that was what I had prepared.

But on Thursday night something happened that made me jealous. And I realized as this jealousy spun around my head that I no longer had selfless gifts. That fit of jealousy made me think that I was entitled to my wife’s love and appreciation in exchange for the gifts I had thought out. And somewhere in my mind I happened to recognize that. So I analyzed it. I already diagnosed it- it was due to the jealousy. And I wanted love. As I kept spinning this idea around in my mind I found what I was looking for on Friday morning as I was reaching for the front door of my work- I didn’t need her love for those gifts.

They ARE thoughtful gifts.

I’m proud of myself for those gifts.

I LOVE that I have given such thoughtful gifts.

I love ME for being thoughtful.

I found love for myself. That made me happy. My whole week changed at that moment. And it wasn’t even something that I set out to do, but something I was already doing.

Jake Zimmerman


Posted in: Client Stories