You’re frustrated. You’re scared. You have a million things you have to do. Happiness, hell, even just not feeling bad, seems a million miles away.
What do you do? Is there some secret that can give you the peace and pleasure you crave? Yes, there is. And it’s simple: Stop thinking of yourself. Start thinking of others.
Eleanor Roosevelt said that the surest way to happiness was to seek it for others. She was referring to doing good, to being of service. It’s how she found happiness despite the tragic loss of her father, her painful childhood. It’s how she got through her troubled marriage and her husband’s affairs. It’s how she endured the Depression and the wars and so much else. She did good. She made herself useful. She sought relief for others.
Seneca said that each person presents us an opportunity to do kindness. They also, therefore, present us an opportunity to find happiness. Remember Stockdale as a POW, tapping out U.S in code to his fellow prisoners: Unity Over Self. Remember Marcus Aurelius: the fruit of this life is works for the common good.
So if you want to feel better today, if you want to find a bright spot in this dark landscape of uncertainty and fear, the solution is simple: Do good. Help others. Be of service. Think less of your problems and try to help others with theirs. You’ll be amazed at the happiness this brings… to you and to them.