Happiness Has Commercial Value

Darrell Fusaro (September 05, 2015)
Allow yourself to be happy and circumstances that bring more happiness will follow.

While I was enlisted in the U. S. Coast Guard, I was sitting in a meeting next to a man I respected named Mike.  When an older man named Jack stood up to address the group, Mike quietly referred to him and said, "Jack is the happiest man I know." 

After I quickly sized up Jack, I shot back, "Of course he's happy, he's rich." 

"He isn't happy because he's rich; he's rich because he's happy,” said Mike.

He isn’t happy because he’s rich; he’s rich because he’s happy.  With this one statement I was finally able to let myself off the hook.  Up until this point in my life I had been withholding my happiness by constantly postponing it.  Happiness, I mistakenly believed, was a reward for struggling.  I put conditions on my happiness; once I get this, achieve that, have those, move there… then I’ll be happy.

Mike made it clear; happy first and the reasons to be happy will follow.  I had been living the other way around.  Right then and there I had a new goal and it was simple; just be happy.  Rather than grumble about what I didn’t have, I decided to be grateful for what I did have.  Mike was right.  Happiness had commercial value.

Prior to this I was a living my life as a lowly E-3 in the military plodding along just doing what was expected.  I was looking forward to the end of my enlistment, two and a half years away, because then I’d be happy.  But now I was looking for reasons to be happy right where I was, doing what I was doing.  It soon became obvious that life really is an inside job.  My circumstances began to adjust themselves to support how I felt on the inside. 

I was rapidly promoted and within six months I was selected to be the Military Liaison to the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney, a prestigious and highly respected position.  I was so happy I even extended my enlistment for another year. 

I discovered that happiness is contagious.  As it was noted, “Fusaro’s personal efforts have resulted in superior relations between the Honolulu Police Department and the Military Services.”  This was written by the Secretary of the Army, Michael P. W. Stone, and read from The Army Commendation Medal I was presented with at the end of my enlistment.  I was having all the fun without the struggle.

Daily I continue to give myself permission to be happy ‘as is’.  Whenever I have trouble letting myself off the hook, I’ll quickly cultivate happiness by making a gratitude list.  A gratitude list never fails to magically transforms everything I have into everything I want.

“A grateful mind is a great mind, attracting great things to itself.” –Plato

–Darrell Fusaro