Once upon a time there was a florist who loved flowers.
They were the only thing in his life that brought him happiness and had dedicated his life to finding the one bloom that would bestow upon him eternal happiness.
One day a customer came into his shop and told him about his old and wise Uncle who lived far away in an incredible castle surrounded by stunning gardens.
His florid description convinced the young man that this was where he would find the bloom of his dreams.
So he set out to visit the old man.
He travelled many days and was far from his home when he finally stumbled upon the old man’s castle.
Bursting with excitement and energy, he approached with wonder and apprehension.
He trod up the cobbled path, through the imposing gates and towards an enormous oak door.
He gingerly lifted the door knocker …
It fell with a thud so loud he jumped back in surprise.
But no one answered, and although he strained his ears he couldn’t hear anyone inside.
“Perhaps there’s no one home?” the young man thought, “And I’ve come all this way for nothing.”
He mustered up the courage to reach up and knock again.
He tried once more, before turning away dejected and empty handed and never so much as laying eyes on his prized bloom.
As he was walking back down the worn cobbled path he heard a kindly gent call out, “Hello young man? What can I do for you?”
“Are you the man with the wonderful gardens?” the young florist blurted out.
“Yes I am,” he replied, “Would you like to see them?”
“Indeed I would Sir, I have travelled many miles and many days in the hope that I will find the bloom of my dreams that will make me happy.”
The old man gestured to his young guest to enter his castle.
“Let me show you around young man, I hope you like what you find.” he said.
The young man stood amazed by the castle’s décor.
Luxuriant velvet drapes crowned by sparkling crystal chandeliers hung across windows wide enough to fly a dragon through.
Deep pile burgundy carpets edged with golden thread snaked a path through the castle.
He met the man’s beautiful wife, his children and their families who were visiting for the day.
The old man led him to the first of his magnificent gardens chock full of exotic plants and flowers the like of which the young florist had never seen.
He was led on to another garden, and another, each one more incredible than the last.
After wandering around the castle and gardens all afternoon he asked the old man why he was so happy.
“Sir, is it because of your beautiful wife that you are so happy all of the time?”
“We were both more beautiful when we were younger, my son.”
“Is it because of your strong, prosperous children?”
“My children don’t belong to me, they may decide to move away and live in another land at any time,” the old man replied.
“Then it must be because of your good health and wealth that you are so happy?”
“Health and wealth can disappear overnight, my child.”
“Then Sir, it must be because of your wonderful gardens?” the young man asked.
“It is not because of my gardens, but because of one special bloom that has taught me all I know about life.
Would you like me to show it to you?”
“Oh yes! Yes!” shouted the young florist.
The old man led him down a stairway deep in the heart of the castle until they came to a room sealed with a door so old the paint was flaking off and covered the ground like confetti.
“My greatest bloom and the secret of my happiness lie behind this door.”
With a loud creak the old man pushed open the door and there in a plain flower pot atop an old wooden table, grew a perfect yellow and white daisy.
“Oh,” exclaimed the young man, “They grow wild outside my house!”
‘Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.’
~Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
We are blessed with innumerous beauty that adds to our happiness. All lying wild around us, unnoticed!
What one identified as the greatest bloom and secret to his happiness was never acknowledged by the other. Hence searching for the secret of happiness far away. Our attachment to the idea of beauty and perfection becomes a wall between us and the true happiness we all keep searching all over.
Here’s my six-step process to feeling happier in your life and your work:
Stop chasing happiness. Many people connect happiness to the achievement of certain goals or aspirations. …
Remove your own barriers to happiness. …
Practice looking inwards. …
Build your self-esteem. …
Be present. …
Take time to appreciate yourself and count your blessings …