“That’s the best revenge of all: happiness. Nothing drives people crazier than seeing someone have a good fucking life.”
~ Chuck Palahniuk~
Words from my maternal grandmother “whenever you feel slighted, overlooked, demeaned, or hurt by another. Spend as little time as possible being angry and then remember that the best thing you can do is something amazing. You can’t simply change people because you want to, and you’ll rarely get anywhere by exacting punishment. As hard as it can be sometimes, you just have to be better. You won’t be happy trying to make other people miserable. If, however, you take a moment to observe how you actually feel immediately after you criticize someone, you’ll notice that you will feel a little deflated and humiliated, almost like you’re the one who has been condemned. Active listening is more than simply sidestepping the bad habit of interrupting others while they are speaking or finishing their sentences.
“Something wonderful begins to happen with the simple realization that life, like an automobile, is driven from the inside out, not the other way around. As you focus more on becoming more peaceful with where you are, rather than focusing on where you would rather be, you begin to find peace right now, in the present. Then, as you move around, try new things, and meet new people, you carry that sense of inner peace with you. It’s absolutely true that, “Wherever you go, there you are.” “Don’t sweat the small stuff…and it’s all small stuff.”
In achieving your goals and having inner peace in your life sometimes you have to walk away people who only accomplishment in life is to bring misery to others.
“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”
~Saint Francis de Sales~
Being happy is:
Content. Contentment is far more valuable than riches because whoever finds contentment is always satisfied. Money comes and goes—sometimes quickly. But contentment rises above our circumstance and offers happiness regardless of our financial state.
Generous. Jeff Shinabarger says it well, “Anything we find that is more than enough creates an immediate opportunity to make others’ lives better.” Our resources can accomplish great things in this world—but not if we keep them to ourselves.
Free. Jim Sollisch has recently come to this understanding. Often in our pursuit of wealth and bigger bank accounts, we sacrifice freedom. We think riches will provide greater freedom for our lives, but we rarely recognize how much freedom we have actually sacrificed in our attempt to simply find more of it.
Selfless. Choosing to live selfless lives that seek the benefit of others brings meaning, purpose, and lasting impact to our short lives. While living selfish, self-centered lives is neither attractive or fulfilling.
Honest. No compromises, no regrets. Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and harmful desires. Given the choice, we should choose honesty, integrity, and character any day. It makes laying our head on the pillow each night that much sweeter.
Passionate. It is far greater to have a career and life we love waking up to in the morning than a high-paying job that brings no satisfaction, provides no positive contribution, and provokes no passion in our day.
Dependent. There is greater security to be found in lasting, trusting relationships than wealth. Dependence on others teaches us this truth. But even more importantly, it also allows us to experience the goodness of other people.
Compassionate. The statistics continue to hold true. The more wealth we obtain, the less compassion and empathy we feel towards those without. And as a result, the less we contribute.
Humble. Wealth often brings with it a certain level of pride—or at least, a more-necessary intentionality to remove prideful tendencies. Sometimes this pride comes from within and sometimes it is encouraged by others. Meanwhile, humility quietly calls us to embrace its hidden power and freedom. It would be a shame to miss it at the expense of riches.
Resourceful. Learning how to live with less is an important pursuit. It teaches us the value of the things right in front of us and forces us to appreciate them even more.
Connected. Riches do not result in deeper relationships. In fact, often times, they have the opposite effect. But intimate, connected relationships continue to provide the joy in our lives money can never produce.
Perseverance. Perseverance is a powerful characteristic that can only be discovered through trial. And while riches cannot remove every trial in life, they can often remove just enough to keep perseverance from ever taking root in our heart.
Happy. As I mentioned, once our basic needs have been met, money contributes very little to our overall happiness and well-being. Gratitude, generosity, and contribution produce far more. And that is the real goal: to live lives of joy and fulfillment and help others to do the same.
What’s the purpose of revenge?
Some people seek revenge as a means for reclaiming their dignity back after someone hurts them. I think everyone experiences the desire for it at some point, but people who follow through and end up seriously harming the person probably have some issues to work through.
What are some of the alternatives to the impulse for revenge?
You can simply say, “I’m going to make it impossible for you to harm me” by avoiding them—you can kick them out of your camp, you can move, you can change jobs.
You can accept the abuse. You can say, “This relationship is valuable to me.” You might love the person or say, “Look, I really need this job, so I’ll pretty much let this person do anything they want to me”—you’ll just accept a certain level of mistreatment because at the end of the day, you’re still up relative to your alternative.