Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos, has built a culture around understanding and delivering happiness. When you break down the physiology of happiness, remember the Three P's: Pleasure, Passion and Purpose. While happiness can be found in all three, the key factor is the priority of your approach. Most people start with the first P which is pleasure. The pleasurable things create an instant gratification in the here and now. This is the immediate appeal of things that create a high, such as drugs, alcohol and gambling. None of these things are inherently wrong but they become a dead end street if you approach them without first going through the other two. My Grandmother, Grace Adkins, is a great example of the proper approach to happiness.
Her life has always been driven by a higher Purpose. The Lord called her at a young age to dedicate her life to the success and education of kids. For over 60 years she has worked with a wide array of students in Southwest Georgia with a special focus on those with learning disabilities. Before anyone understood these disabilities, she self-educated herself and built a learning lab dedicated to overcoming their challenges and showing them that they were made to succeed just like everyone else. She now has countless examples of students who could not read when she started with them that are now successful surgeons and business leaders all over the world.
It is this higher Purpose that creates a Passion that still burns hot today. Although she is in her late 80's, she runs her learning lab full-time. She is up at 4am ready to work out and reads five books at a time furthering her education so that she can better serve her students. She is living proof that with Purpose and Passion, age is truly a state of mind.
It is through the first two P's that she can finally approach and get the full benefit of the Pleasures in life. Most of the Pleasures in our family are centered around exactly that, enjoying family. Grandma Grace is the foundation for our family and you can rest assured that there is always a warm meal and an open seat at her table.
Pleasure in and of itself is not the enemy, it just cannot be appropriately attained unless you first go through Purpose and Passion. Without the first two P's, chasing pleasure is like trying to fill a bucket with a hole in it. No matter how much we try to fill it, we will never be fulfilled. Thank you Grandma Grace for your example that will have a lasting positive impact for generations to come. Your life is a great example of how to use the Three P's to happily fulfill the Lord's work.