How to be genuinely happy.

Comparison is the thief of joy. - Theodore Roosevelt

This is one of my favorite quotes because of the depth and universality of its truth. 

Everyone has had the experience of hearing about someone else’s success / promotion / vacation / raise / opportunity and feeling a little less than pure joy.  Why? Because instead of seeing the hours of work that generated the salary, the sacrifices it took to open the doors, the years of patience, practice, confusion, and failure that preceded the moment of glory, we see only the benefit and not the cost.   Blinded to all the moments leading up to it, we somehow think it is fair to compare that singular moment in time to our own life.   Comparison is the thief of joy, and jealousy is its accomplice.

Every journey is filled joy and sorrow, peaks and valleys, flaws and beauty. No one is successful to spite you, blowing out someone else's candle doesn’t make your own grow brighter, and measuring your life with someone else’s ruler is not only unfair to you, it is unfair to them too.  Envy drains happiness.  Jealousy is self-loathing in disguise.

Genuine happiness is possible when you are able to share someone else’s win without envy.  Lasting happiness is possible because we take turns holding the torch.  Let someone's victory inspire and energize you today; yours will inspire someone else tomorrow.   Joy begets more joy.  Share success.

Happy Sunday.