“A man is really alive only when he delights in the goodwill of others.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
This idea from Goethe reminds me of the deep-seeded ideas of compassion for others as the path to enlightenment and happiness that we see so often in Buddhism. There is actually a Buddhist meditation that I have used before wherein one imagines a person in their life, with the whole practice focusing on the practitioner imagining happiness for that person. Think of this person, concentrate on them, and imagine them being happy, and how that might look or feel for them. This is a surprisingly powerful meditation, with my own experience being that I always walk away feeling better for having taken the time.
Whether he was building off of ancient Buddhist ideas or not, Goethe’s idea here resonates strongly with me. True happiness is found when we wish for and delight in the happiness of others, particularly those we care about.
In order to experience this type of joy be on the lookout for how you can be a force for happiness in the lives of others.