When I was growing up, there was a philosophy many people lived by. It was go to school, get a good job, get married, own a house and a decent car. Retire with benefits and chill from then on.
Of course, those who believed that were from my parent's generation. Those who lived through the depression and World War II. And maybe some of them were happy when they acheived those goals.
I never asked them. While they were alive I was pursuing my version of happiness. Which was to stay drunk and high for as long as I could.
And once I tired of the pain and misery I got sober and started living kind of like other people
It wasn't until later that the happiness question came up for me. I'd acquired what many consider success: happy marriage, business, friends, great income, investments, and so forth.
While these things are great, there's one thing that gives me special satisfaction. And that's giving others the opportunity to change their lives.
Every once in a while I'll be in public and someone will come up and thank me for helping them. And most of the time I don't remember them. They were at TLC years earlier. They now have a family, a good job or business.
They give us credit for their success. And I'm gracious and thank them. But the reality is that somewhere within they had a desire for a better life.
And they used our program to pull themselves up - just the way we designed it. And that makes me happy.