I’m still on the Happiness Journey, and I saw evidence in action while at a Barry Manilow concert. I was recently in Vegas visiting my brother, and on a whim, we decided to attend Barry’s concert. The audience skewed older, mostly in their 60’s, however they were obviously ecstatic to be there. They knew all the words to his songs and sang and danced throughout the concert, but the best demonstration of utter joy and happiness was Barry Manilow himself.
I was so curious about Barry’s career and how he achieves such evident happiness after this, so I did a little research. He grew up poor in Brooklyn, but his grandfather saw he had a gift and supported his love of music. Barry ultimately attended the Julliard School of Performing Arts and began pursuing his dream of being a songwriter. Now, almost 60 years later, Barry has 31 albums, 51 top 40 songs, and he’s worth $100 million! He is currently 79, and performed for 90 minutes with four costume changes. And, only in the last year, Barry went from performing six shows a week to four. The guy doesn’t need accolades or money — he performs because his purpose in life is to make people happy with his music. He was so clearly joyful on stage, singing hit after hit for his fans, and they were all loving it.
One of the most poignant lessons I’ve taken from my happiness studies is that we need purpose throughout our life. Purpose is our reason for being and the impact we want to make on the world. It is why we get out of bed each day and push through life during tough times. Purpose is the opposite of living life aimlessly and spontaneously (which is ironically what is often portrayed in movies and looks so much fun!). Purpose is not necessarily a calling that guides our entire life like Barry’s, but a passion that impacts others positively while we pursue it. Regardless of age, income, or most circumstances, you need purpose to be happy. What’s your purpose and how are you impacting the world?