Monday evening I had a moment of shear euphoria, yes I was happy. In fact I was so happy I had a fit of laughter, the kind of uncontrollable laughter that left me with a headache and aching tummy. And then of course in true Karen tradition I had to over think this phenomenon, why am I so happy and how did I get here?
I started thinking about rewards and what the term “to live a rewarding life” really means. We all (whether we realise it or not) do things based on a reward system. We work all month to claim our reward of a salary at the end of it. You see rewards are great incentives. We enter competitions in the hope of being rewarded with a prize. There are businesses whose marketing involves some kind of reward system should you join their mailing list and what not. Buy in bulk and you are rewarded with a discount. Buy a magazine and you get rewarded with a free pair of sunglasses etc. Rewards are everywhere and in almost everything we do.
One thing I have learnt about human beings is that no matter where in the world you live, who you are as a person and despite cultural differences, there are two things everyone needs:
1. The need to feel loved
2. To feel good about yourself
Everyone wants to feel loved, whether it’s in an adult relationship with a partner, the love of a pet or simply the love of a parent, everyone needs to feel loved by someone or something other than themselves.
Feeling good about yourself, everyone loves to feel good, in fact it is even better when you are feeling great. That feeling you get when you leave the hair salon and your hair is perfect and you feel awesome. The feeling you get when a new outfit fits just right in all the right places and makes you feel sexy. When you are praised for a job well done, you feel on top of the world. I could go on and on about feeling good about yourself, but you get the picture.
Then there is the unselfish act, the one that you do to help someone else feel good and expect no reward. When you help someone in need with no expectation of them returning the favour, a true act of kindness.
Even in those moments, there is a reward. Even if you don’t want one, there is, because it is in those moments that we feel good about ourselves. Not in an arrogant way where we smugly proclaim to the world, I am a good person, see I just helped someone. No, it’s in those unseen moments when we genuinely have compassion and want to make a difference for totally unselfish reasons. Even in those times we are rewarded.
That is the true meaning of living a rewarding life.