It is a strange privilege to offer people forgiveness and to speak on God’s behalf. But I do, and it’s powerful, both in my office during the week and from the platform on the weekend. Some of my happiest experiences have been helping others. And I enjoy helping others outside of my vocation as a minister. At the gym or on a dive boat, during a round of golf or playing music, I like to share the tips and tricks I’ve learned to make the most of each experience. Sometimes those tips are skill-related and sometimes they’ve been won through the earning of grey hair. My point is if you want to enjoy life more, find more meaning and purpose in your existence, and generally be happier, you can’t go wrong by helping others. It’s not a magic bullet, but it’s a fabulous way to start and an essential component of any enduring happiness.

Too many of us spend our time thinking about what we want, what we need, and what we expect others to do on our behalf. We all do this. Not just immoral people or ungodly people or superficial people. Good people focus on their associations paying off, their resources proving adequate and their dreams being fulfilled. Thing is, the more we focus on ourselves, the less happy we are.

The single greatest antidote to depression is looking after other people. Whether religious, social, moral, or familial, all the great voices in our lives reinforce the idea that we are meant to love and care for others.

Adapted from The Adventure of Happiness