I used to think the best line I ever heard was the one from Mark Twain – the one which is the foundation of this entire blog – “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born…and the day you find out why.”
Then Jack Canfield told me a story.
Canfield is co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Recently he was giving his opinion on the current happiness movement and explained how he believes the greatest happiness comes when we are serving a purpose, serving others beyond our own self-interest. He then told the story of Ken Behring, a real estate developer, worth about $600 million and the former owner of the Seattle Seahawks football team.
Canfield says Behring told him he could divide his life and pursuit of happiness into four stages. Behring says the first stage he calls Stuff, getting his first car, a house, a boat, a plane and other material possessions. But it did not bring him happiness. The next phase Behring calls More Stuff, a nicer car, a bigger house, a bigger boat…yet happiness was still elusive. The third phase: Different Stuff, was when Behring and several friends bought the Seattle Seahawks. He thought how cool it would be to sit in the owners box, be on the field, go down to the locker room and hang with the players, but still Behring says he wasn’t happy.
Canfield says one day Behring got a call and was asked if he would like to travel to Bosnia and help hand out 40 wheelchairs to children who had lost their legs, injured when they accidentally stepped on land mines in the war-torn country. Behring tells the story of how he lifted a boy with no legs into a wheelchair and says as he tried to leave, the boy was crying and hugging him and he wouldn’t let go. Behring says he didn’t know what to do when suddenly the boy looked at him and said, “Please, please don’t leave yet. I want to memorize your face…so when we meet again in heaven…I can thank you one more time.”
Ken Behring says at that moment in time, his entire life changed. He felt pure joy and happiness for the first time.
I can understand why.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.
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Mark Brodinsky, Author, Blogger, Financial Services
Author: The #1 Amazon Best-Seller: It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story