Finding True Happiness Through Selflessness

The Wisdom of Prioritizing Other’s Happiness

Today, March 20, 2024, we celebrate the International Day of Happiness. Isn’t it that in the pursuit of happiness, we often find ourselves seeking fulfillment in external sources – whether it’s material possessions, personal achievements, or relationships. Yet, as Martin Luther King Jr. wisely said, true happiness springs from a different well – the well of selflessness.

King once remarked that the “surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.” This statement holds timeless wisdom and echoes the teachings of Jesus Christ, who emphasized love, compassion, and service to others. In Matthew 22:39, Jesus instructs us to “Love your neighbor as yourself,” highlighting the importance of extending kindness and generosity beyond our own circles. Already in Proverbs 11,25, the writer concluded: “The one who refreshes others shall be refreshed.” God is promising to refresh the one who refreshes others.

The Psychological Impact of Selfless Acts

Recent research1 from the University of Missouri-Columbia reaffirms this truth also on a psychological level. Psychologists have found that our own happiness is intricately tied to the kindness and generosity we extend to others. Instead of solely focusing on our own well-being, investing in the happiness of those around us can significantly enhance our psychological health and overall satisfaction in life.

The essence of true happiness lies not in self-indulgence but in selflessness. It’s about shifting our perspective from “What can I gain?” to “How can I give?” This doesn’t necessarily mean expensive gifts or grand gestures. It goes beyond money; it can be our time or simply putting others before our own. Simple acts of kindness, such as lending a listening ear, offering a helping hand, or sharing a genuine smile, can have a profound impact on someone’s day – and our own.

As disciples of Christ, we are called to follow His example of sacrificial love and service. By embodying the principles of compassion and empathy, we not only uplift others but also experience a deep sense of joy and fulfillment ourselves.

This International Day of Happiness, let’s challenge ourselves to prioritize the happiness of others. Let’s aim to be the light that brightens someone else’s path, knowing that in doing so, we illuminate our own journey.


  1. Happiness Comes From Making Others Feel Good Rather Than Ourselves, According To A New Study ( ↩︎