“It is difficult to find happiness within oneself, but it is impossible to find it anywhere else.”

“It is difficult to find happiness within oneself, but it is impossible to find it anywhere else.”

—Arthur Schopenhauer, 19th Century German Philosopher

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Can you recall any of the words from Madonna’s song, Material Girl? If you do remember a few words, I bet you can also recall the melody.

We do live in a material world in which dealing with our day-to-day physical environment is essential. For most people, life is filled with highs and lows, with varying levels of happiness along the way.

A surprising thing happens when we periodically move beyond or perhaps better said, within, to examine, discover, and explore our spiritual and soulful selves.

EXERCISE:

Beyond deepening your own spiritual practices, consider exploring the journey toward greater happiness within by reading, and studying the book, Toward a Meaningful Life. Perhaps discuss it with others in your life who are also ready for a deeper look around.

“She was too deep for…”

“Her soul was too deep to explore by those who always swam in the shallow end.”

-A.J. Lawless

Image from ripplecentral.com

Image from ripplecentral.com

Most of us are familiar with the stories of prospectors digging for gold or other precious gems, and know that these valuable resources are rarely found at the surface. We must dig deep into the earth to claim them.

The same is true if we wish to reap the rich rewards of deep and meaningful relationships with friends, family, and colleagues. Scratching the surface with limited attention virtually never creates the respectful, trusting, and soulfully satisfying relationships we all desire.

EXERCISE:

Where and with whom can you explore and pursue a deeper, more meaningful relationship in either your personal or professional life?

#102: “That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.”

– Henry D. Thoreau, author and leading transcendentalist

My father Marvin, at the age of 85, is one of the people I most admire. Throughout my life, he always referred to himself as one of the richest men in the world. We lived very modestly in a row house in Philadelphia, and I can never recall him complaining about his life.

He included among his riches:

  • A loving marriage
  • A job as a teacher, coach and counselor, where he got to make a difference
  • A happy family life with three wonderful kids (including me :-))
  • Good health
  • Close and loyal friends
  • A good sense of humor to laugh at life and even at himself

 Exercise:

What are your personal riches that cost you little, yet bring you great wealth?

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#75: “Each lifetime is the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle…”

“… For others the puzzle is more difficult to assemble. But know this: you do not have within yourself all of the pieces of your puzzle. Everyone carries with them at least one and probably many pieces to someone else’s puzzle… When you present your piece, which is worthless to you, to another, whether you know it or not, you are a messenger from the Most High.”

– Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

There is a corny sentiment in romantic movies: “you complete me.” What if this really is true and that we all have within us a certain quality, characteristic, skill, or gift that makes another person more whole and complete?

Exercise:

What special gifts and talents do you have to contribute?

What gaps or missing pieces are there in your life that need filling?

How would a greater awareness of these allow you to fulfill your highest purpose?

Quotes are posted on The Quotable Coach a week after being sent out by email. To get the latest quotes straight to your inbox, pop your details in the sidebar to the right.