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This is a thought fragment about finding happiness.
Those in older generations have told me that our focus changes as we age. When we are first born, we have no concept of self, and we only know what we sense and that we want security. As we go through childhood, we still want security, but we also want independence, respect from others, popularity, love, and and new experiences. This persists through young adulthood. All of this is quite self-centered.

In middle adulthood we begin to think about our immediate families and their safety and happiness. This is where I am, and I find that I struggle to balance my own desire for happiness and the desire to make my immediate loved ones happy.

I am told that as I age, I will look more and more to the happiness of others. I look forward to this progression as it seems like the focus on pleasing the self and maintaining one's own happiness only leads to sadness. There has to be something more. Taking delight in seeing smiles on the faces of others becomes a bigger and bigger goal of mine. Occasionally I still become melancholy, but I find that when this is happening it is because I am looking at myself, pitying myself for missed opportunities or waxing nostalgic over days gone by.

Whether this outward turning is a natural progression, a discipline, or something of both, I crave it. I long to go down that path. I long to cut the strings to my old self and move toward delight in service to others. Just how to do it...
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