As a follow-up to yesterday's post on the ownership of ideas, I thought we'd spend a little more time examining the relationship between ego and happiness because ego has a profound impact on one's happiness.
As Project More Happy grows, I find myself doing more and more research on happiness - how to cultivate it, how to design you life for it and how to see it in every day moments. Research leads me time and again to the notion that happiness, mindfulness and spirituality are all dancing to the same song. That shared beat focuses on gratitude, finding joy in the everyday and understanding the connectedness of our world.
You know who you won't find at that super joyous dance party? Ego.
Ego tends to show up to the party and steal the spotlight, pushing everyone else off the dance floor. Ego is the obnoxious party crasher that, sometimes unintentionally, makes the moment all about them. Ego spends it's time one-upping everyone else at the party and when they don't have the moves to do it, they'll find the words.
Everyone has an ego fighting for attention. But letting your ego run your life by letting it guide your decisions means you'll spend your life focused on serving yourself and your interests. But focusing on others and how our lives fit into the larger picture, by allowing ourselves to discover what we as individuals have to offer our bigger world, that's where happiness and purpose and joy live.
Happiness lives in connectedness, not isolation. And when we are happy, we make others happy and when others are happy, we ourselves are happier. Happiness is a shared experience.
So the next time ego shows up to claim an idea, to force a decision or to steal attention, kindly ask it to leave dance floor. There just isn't room for it when creating a happier world.