Follow Your Bliss: The Story of Greg Pritchard

August 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Do What You Love, The Dreamer

Following your bliss and doing what you love doesn’t always mean doing what people expect of you. In fact, to follow your bliss, you sometimes have to go to the beat of your own drummer and flat out go your own way.

And you may have to overcome tremendous obstacles to do so, defy expectations, and overcome your own fears and confidence issues.

But if you do so, you will be much happier in the long run.

A few days ago, I told you about Paul Potts, the shy and unassuming cell phone salesman who in 2007 appeared on the English television show Britain’s Got Talent, singing in front of the audience and judges, including the notorious Simon Cowell, and displayed an amazing operatic voice.

greg-pritchard-britains-got-talentToday I tell you about another singer who appeared on Britain’s Got Talent in 2009, Greg Pritchard. Greg is a hotel waiter, yet he had an unabiding dream to sing, and on the show he displayed his voice.

When Greg began, it was assumed he would be singing a rock song, since he came dressed in that way.  But Greg defied expectations with his song and his singing style.

You see, Greg’s dream is to be an opera singer, and this is truly what he loves doing. He has a male soprano voice, and he showed extraordinary range as he sang “Nessu Dorma” in front of the judges. It was the last thing anyone expected him to sing.

It’s an incredible performance, and you can see it in the video above.

And it’s a prime example of the fact that following your bliss and doing what you love sometimes mean you have to find your own way, and find your own voice, no matter what people may think of you.

That is what Greg Pritchard did, both literally and figuratively.

Doing What You Love: The Commencement Speech of Steve Jobs

August 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Do What You Love

One of the greatest commencement speeches ever was given by Steve Jobs at Stanford University for the university’s 114th Commencement on June 12, 2005.

Drawing from some of the most pivotal points in his life, Jobs, the chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams and see the opportunities in life’s setbacks — including death itself.
It is a great speech and a true inspiration to all of us. It will get you to ponder your life and reflect on whether you are truly doing what you love.

Watch the above video and you’ll see what I mean. You can also read the transcript, which follows below:

steve-jobs-3g-iphoneI am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

Follow Your Bliss: The Story of Paul Potts

August 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Do What You Love, The Dreamer

Yesterday’s article was about doing what you love and following your bliss, which is a term developed by Joseph Campbell.

bliss_diagramWhat does following your bliss and doing what you love look like? It obviously is different for every person. But ultimately it will be the best thing you do, because it will allow you to be in alignment with your true nature.

Today, I give you the incredible case study of Paul Potts. Paul was a mobile phone salesman in England with a majestic operatic singing voice, yet lacked the confidence to follow his dream of pursuing a career in opera.

He had sung opera on and off for a few years, but had not sung for years when he decided in 2007 to audition for the British televison show, Britain’s Got Talent, a show similar to the American television show, American Idol.  Both shows feature Simon Cowell as one of the judges.paul-pott2

The first of the above videos is Potts’ audition in front of Cowell and the judges, along with the studio audience of 2,000.

Potts came out, and the judges sized him up. Potts was nervous, and the judges assumed by his temperament and makeup that he would not have much to offer.

But once Paul Potts began to sing, hearts melted and tears flowed out of many people in the audience, including one of the judges. In fact, you will have to see if you can keep dry eyes while watching him sing.

The second video above is of Paul Potts being interviewed by a Hong Kong television station on a recent trip that he took through China to promote an album. Paul talks about following your dreams and the importance of doing what you love.

do-waht-you-loveSo watch the videos, reflect on the story of Paul Potts, and think about whether you too are doing the thing that you love.

It makes all the world of difference if you are. And it’s not hard to do so.

All you have to do is dream.

Do What You Love: The Art of Following Your Bliss

August 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Do What You Love

An important ingredient to living a Low Density Lifestyle is doing work that you find meaningful and is an expression of who you are.

This is called Doing What You Love.

This is the subject of this series – the ability to, as Joseph Campbell put it, “Follow Your Bliss.”

Campbell was an American mythologist, writer and lecturer, best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative religion. His work is vast, covering many aspects of the human experience. His philosophy is often summarized by his phrase: “Follow your bliss.”

This is what Joseph Campbell had to say:

Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell

“What is it that makes you happy? 
Stay with it, no matter what people tell you.

This is what I call, ‘Following Your Bliss.’

If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you. 
And the life that you ought to be living,
 is the one you ARE living.
 Wherever you are, if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, 
that lives within you, all the time.

When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open doors for you. 
I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open 
where you didn’t know they were going to be.”

And so the question to you is: Are you following your bliss? Are you doing what you love?

And if not, what is holding you back?

2009-follow-your-bliss1The truth be told, it is fear that holds us back from doing what we love.

But it can be overcome. The first step is to ask yourself: if I could do anything, what would that be?

You may not have an answer right away, and that’s alright, because we are not programmed to think that way.

We are programmed to think that we need to make a living, and that we should make the most pragmatic choice in that regard.

But instead, what if we follow our bliss? As Joseph Campbell says, doors will open for you where you didn’t know they would be.

Which is a tremendous thing, because when you do what you love and follow your bliss, you will be happier, healthier, and more fulfilled.

And you will be living a Low Density Lifestyle.

The A to Z of Low Density Lifestyle Living

August 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Low Density Lifestyle

The A to Z of living

A Ardor, Live life with spirit and vigor

B Beauty, See the beauty in all people and things around

C Courage, Engage in the challenges that come, with energy

D Daring, Dare to live life to the full

E Essential, keep to the essence of living

F Friendship, be a friend; in friendship we reach into our souls

G Gambol, gambol on the tree tops, catch the first rays of the sun,

let the butterfly of happiness settle on your shoulder

HHappiness, hail the people, be the first to offer this welcoming smile

I Innovate, discover new ways of living life to the full

J Jump for joy, unashamedly, enthusiastically

K Knit healthy relationships with those close to you

L Laugh and Live! Live! Live! Live with energy and passion.

M Make every moment count

N Navigate quietly through the raging waters of life while you

O Order your thoughts and prepare your heart and your soul to

P Plant both feet on the ground and go for this

Q Quest for adventure.

R Reach out to those you meet

S Sow the seed of love in every heart

T Touch them with the warmth of your friendship and stay

U United with them in purposeful living

V Visit those old relatives and friends

W Write to those who touched your life

X Energize them with your dreams and visions

Y Yearn for these moments of peace and tranquility

Z Zero in with passion on what is worth living for.


The A-Z of Low Density Lifestyle Living…Plus Summer Hiatus Time

August 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Low Density Lifestyle

We here at the Low Density Lifestyle website are going on a summer hiatus for balda_sunset_sardinia_beach12 weeks and will be back on Tuesday, Aug. 25 with the next series of articles, on the topic of Do What You Love.

And that’s because Do What You Love is an important aspect of living a Low Density Lifestyle.

But for now, as I said above, we are going on summer sabbatical for 2 weeks, in order to do some Low Density living.

But I want to leave you with something that is really nice. It’s something that was sent to me by Low Density Lifestyler Irlande Alfred of Germany.

Irlande calls this the A-Z of Low Density Lifestyle living, and I fully agree and thought it worthwhile to publish it on the site.

So enjoy reading it, and take it to heart by putting it into practice.

And see you in two weeks. Enjoy the summer!

Unless of course you live in the Southern Hemisphere – then I guess I have to say, enjoy the winter!

The A to Z of Living

theletteracopyA Ardor, Live life with spirit and vigor

B Beauty, See the beauty in all people and things around

C Courage, Engage in the challenges that come, with energy

D Daring, Dare to live life to the full

E Essential, keep to the essence of living

F Friendship, be a friend; in friendship we reach into our souls

G Gambol, gambol on the tree tops, catch the first rays of the sun,

let the butterfly of happiness settle on your shoulder

H Happiness, hail the people, be the first to offer this welcoming smile

I Innovate, discover new ways of living life to the full

J Jump for joy, unashamedly, enthusiastically

K Knit healthy relationships with those close to you

L Laugh and Live! Live! Live! Live with energy and passion.

M Make every moment count

N Navigate quietly through the raging waters of life while you

O Order your thoughts and prepare your heart and your soul to

P Plant both feet on the ground and go for this

Q Quest for adventure.

R Reach out to those you meetwedding_hearts_letter_z_poster-p228292738694760385t5ta_4003

S Sow the seed of love in every heart

T Touch them with the warmth of your friendship and stay

U United with them in purposeful living

V Visit those old relatives and friends

W Write to those who touched your life

X Energize them with your dreams and visions

Y Yearn for these moments of peace and tranquility

Z Zero in with passion on what is worth living for.

See you Aug. 25!!  Remember to Do What You Love – cause that’s what the next series will be on!!

Until then, be well.

Happiness is…Being a Free Spirit

August 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Happiness, Low Density Lifestyle

I end this series on Happiness – and I also begin a two week summer hiatus (I’m off to do some Low Density Lifestyle living) – with the above incredible time lapse video that captures the spirit of living a Low Density Lifestyle.

Christoph Rehage walking in China

Christoph Rehage walking in China

The video is about being FREE – which stands for Flow, Relax, and Effortless Effort – and about finding happiness by being a free spirit.

Now, this is not the way you have to live in order to live a Low Density Lifestyle. It is just this person’s way. It works for him, while what works for you is your choice.

The video is about Christoph Rehage and his one-year walk on foot through China, covering 4646 km, or roughly 2900 miles. He calls it The Longest Way. But the video doesn’t give a linear progression as much as a time lapse progression of the growth of Christoph’s beard.

Once you watch it you’ll see what I mean. And hopefully it will inspire you to freespirit_graphic1begin your own journey into finding how you can live a Low Density Lifestyle.

Here are some particulars of the journey and video, taken from the Christoph Rehage’s notes:

It took place from November 9th 2007 – November 13th 2008
one year on foot – 4646km through China
unlimited beard & hair growth [my note: the website may or may not be working right now]
musical score by the kingpins ( and zhu fengbo

And here is some additional info that Christoph Rehage supplies:

– I never finished my original goal of walking to Germany. Instead, I walked for a year and roughly 4500km, passed the desert of Gobi, and then decided to stop walking for now.

china_map1- All of the distance from Beijing to Ürümqi has been completed solely on foot, straight good old walking. There are instances where you can see me in the video sitting on a plane or riding a boat, but those are during breaks I had to take from walking, either to sort out bureaucracy issues or to take care of some personal things.

– I had been planning this trip for over a year before I even started, and getting as far as I got was an experience for which I am very grateful.

– Obtaining the necessary visa for a trip like this was not very easy, hence I had to go back to Beijing a few times to resolve some issues.

– The songs I used in the video are 1) Zhu Fengbo – “Olive Tree” and 2) The Kingpins – “L’aventurier” – visit the Kingpins website if you want to know more, they are very cool I think.

– This is not a strict “1 pic a day” video, because I wanted to make it a bit more alive by adding some additional movement. Sometimes during the film you would follow me turn around, or something would happen in the background. I tried to capture these moments to make the video more interesting.

– The core of this project is in fact my website where I have posted my extensive travel diary, starting from day 1 (Nov 9th 2007) and describing every single day until the end one year later.

One last note: if you read our Summer Hours, you’ll know that for the summer we are publishing articles one less day a week, 4 days instead of our usual 5 days.

But this time around, when we see you again with the next article on this upcoming Tuesday, this will be the last article for two weeks because we will be on summer hiatus until Tuesday Aug. 25.

Until then, enjoy!

Why Are So Many People Unhappy?

August 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Happiness

technologyThis is such an amazing age, and we have so much to be grateful for.

Technology has come so far so fast that we now have things available to us that 50 years ago would have seemed like the pipedream of a science fiction writer.

Because of that, shouldn’t we be walking around in a state of ecstatic happiness?

And shouldn’t this entire series that I’ve been writing on Happiness be second nature to everyone reading it?unhappy-smiley

Yet, most people are thoroughly unhappy. They take for granted everything we have available to us, and show no sense of gratitude or humility for it.

In the above video, comedian Louis CK, appearing on Conan O’Brien’s show a few months ago, put everything in perspective with his rant, “Everything is Amazing, Nobody is Happy.” He hit the nail on the head.

Indeed, if we live our lives in awe and reverence, and appreciate the amazing quality of life, there is no way that we could ever be unhappy.

paul-simon-shrunkThese are the days of miracle and wonder, as Paul Simon sang in his song, The Boy in the Bubble:

These are the days of miracle and wonder,
This is the long distance call,
The way the camera follows us in slo-mo
The way we look to us all o-yeah,
The way we look to a distant constellation
That’s dying in a corner of the sky,
These are the days of miracle and wonder.

Granted, the technological changes in the last 20 – 30 years have made life move at a faster pace. But that of and by itself shouldn’t create unhappiness.

All we need to do to deal with it is to center ourselves, stay calm, and just be more self-aware. In other words, if we live a Low Density Lifestyle, there would be no problem whatsoever.

Happiness would then be automatic.

And then we could say that everything is amazing and everybody is happy.

The Happiest Man in New York

August 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Happiness

Yesterday’s article, Making Other People Will Make You Happy, discussed how you can find your own happiness by making others happy.

You can call this being in service to others. When you are in service to others and genuinely care about helping others, especially those in need, you feel a deep sense of love and happiness – all because of your selfless act.

Today I want to tell you about one such man, who truly is an inspiration to us all. His name is Jorge Munoz and he lives in Queens, NY.

Jorge Munoz in the kitchen

Jorge Munoz in the kitchen

Jorge is a 46 year old school bus driver who makes $700 a week in salary, and spends half that amount every week cooking, packing and giving free, hot meals to hungry people every day under a subway stop. Having done it for a few years now, he estimates that he has given away some 70,000 meals in total.

Munoz says he found his passion and path in service after choosing to stop turning his cheek to a growing problem – hunger and homelessness – so prevalent in his neighborhood, and so many other communities across America.

Munoz says the idea came to him one day, when waiting to pick up his students at a routine school bus stop. “I saw people throwing away food at a food factory,” he says adamantly, “I thought, why are they throwing that away? I can give those to the hungry people I see on the street everyday.”

He asked if he could pick up the perfectly fresh food and take it to the hungry strangers he’s seen everyday. Strangers whose faces became so familiar.

Munoz says, the inspiration came from, “God and my Mom. Since I was little, my mom teach me to share, and that’s what we’re doing here.” Although Munoz isn’t getting paid for this second job (remember, he actually has to use own money to do this), he is happy to be in service.

Just by the tone in his voice, you can feel his passion for compassion. His eagerness to serve brings him joy. He says he’s happy to have a paying job, so he can continue doing this. “You have to see their smiles, on their faces. When they smile, I always say that’s how I get paid.”

Every night for the past four years, Munoz comes home from work, takes a quick coffee break, then heads out to diligently collect food donations from the community and then shop for more groceries. He heads home to meet a team, consisting of his mother, sister, 5-year-old nephew and a friend.

Together, they multiply whatever they’re having for dinner into 120 to 140 home cooked meals, carefully packed with love and care in his tiny kitchen, in his shoe-box size flat. His living room looks more like a pantry, filled with fresh food, parceled out, and ready to be cooked. There are even bags of clothes and blankets, cleaned and ready to be given out.

His stove isn’t fully operating anymore because it’s been overused to cook food in bulk. Because the stove is broken, he carries huge restaurant sized vats of food up to his sister’s apartment to cook– just so he can make his daily deadline. “They depend on me,” says Munoz. Even with an injured back, he never once complains about the love and labor he puts into his daily routine of service.

Jorge Munoz feeding people

Jorge Munoz feeding people

When Munoz first doing this 4 years ago, he says there were only 8 people. Then there were 24, and today, the crowd has grown to nearly 150 people because of the down economy.

When Munoz’s truck pulls up, the melancholy, stoic, troubled looks on the faces brighten and then break out into smiles.

“The smiles on their faces, when see they got something to eat….aaaaah, We’re feeding more than a hundred people,” Munoz says passionately. “If you change the life of one guy, that’s enough.”

If you watch the above video, you’ll learn more about Jorge Munoz, the man who is one of the happiest people in New York City. You can also learn more about his work by going to

So if you want to find true happiness, consider this: what am I doing to help others be happy, and what am I doing to be in service to others?

One last note: I first read about Jorge Munoz in an article by Toan Lam, who has a website called, which is dedicated to helping to inspire people to help others.

Making Other People Happy Will Make You Happy

August 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Happiness

Shiny happy people

Shiny happy people

The Happiness series continues this week (for its final week) with a look at a very basic truth, a truth that stems from the question that I asked with the very first article in this series.

The question was: Are you happy?

Every article since in this Happiness series has played on that question.

The article on the country of Bhutan told you about a nation that put the happiness of its citizens as its number one priority in terms of formulating laws.

And the article on Happiness and Your Job discussed an important ingredient to happiness: the kind of work you do. It’s so true that if you’re not doing work that you enjoy, then it’s much harder to feel happy.

The basic truth then is this: You can make yourself happy by making other people happy…make-people-happy

…And one of the best ways to make other people is to be happy yourself.

But how do you know if you’re making other people happy? What are some signs?

Well, check out the below list and see if the following statements are true for you:

* Do people seem to feel comfortable confiding in you?
* Do people follow your recommendations?
* Are you a source of material comfort or security for someone else?
* Do people whom you’ve introduced often go on to have a
continuing relationship?
* Do people seem to drift toward you? Join a conversation that
you’re having, sit down next to you at a meeting?
* Are you providing opportunities for other people – job leads,
blind dates, contacts in a new city?
* Do people whom you hardly remember go out of their way to
greet you warmly? Say, an intern who worked in your office three
years ago, or a former student?
* Do people seem to want to connect with you — by making plans
or by emailing, calling, or texting?
* Do people seem energized by you? Do they smile and laugh in
your presence?

Notice some items that are not on the list:

* Do people remember your birthday?
* Do people give you presents (say, for Mothers’ Day, or in
recognition of an important milestone)?
* Do people express appreciation and gratitude for your efforts?

Even if you’re making people happy, they don’t always respond by making these gestures. (Which can be annoying.)

smile-signAnd so, if you want to find happiness for yourself, consider if you’re helping others be happy.

Because if you are making others happy, your life is a true gift, both to yourself and to others.

I think it’s a lot easier for most people to make other people unhappy. It takes much more work to make people happy. Because to do so means you have to live your life conscientiously and with a certain degree of mindfulness and self-realization.

And you have to be living a Low Density Lifestyle.

But it’s not hard to do. You too can be happy and at the same time make other people happy.

I finish today’s article by leaving you with this question: Are you happy? Do you make other people happy?