I’ve been thinking a lot lately about success, greatness, and how happiness fits in that spectrum. I look around and I see a lot of people chasing money, followers, their brand — which are all great things — but when we wrap our entire identity and desires around those things, we end up feeling unfulfilled.
Money and fame can both become harmful obsessions, especially when we tie our happiness to those things. It becomes a recipe for unhappiness, depression, and anxiety.
But when we tie our happiness to something bigger than ourselves — the community around us, making positive change, inspiring the world, learning new things — we’re able to find more joy than money could ever provide.
I want to share a quick story with you all. I was driving up the coast of California with my girlfriend, and we stopped by the Golden Gate Bridge. We had this amazing 4-day experience, connecting and diving deeper into our relationship, and it was such a joyful time. It reminded me of how much intimacy and connection is a central part of happiness.
We drove back down through the state, and when we pull into our building, I notice something different. There were police cars in the parking lot, and yellow tape was blocking the entrance into our highrise condo. There was a white tent in the parking lot, and immediately I knew something was wrong.
After I parked my car, I walked up to one of the building workers and said, “Tell me someone didn’t jump.” But someone did. They jumped off the 27th floor of my building and committed suicide.
It’s weighed on me heavily for the past couple of days, and it’s something I haven’t been able to stop thinking about. The individual who jumped was someone well-known in the Hollywood and entertainment world. He was extremely wealthy and had hundreds of millions of dollars. It was someone who was well-connected and had access to all sorts of power, and yet, he took his own life.
It’s never hit so close to home. There are so many people who are experiencing depression, loneliness, and anxiety even if their external world looks flawless. Money, power, and fame do not ensure a perfect life. Having lots of money helps in a lot of ways, but it doesn’t help in every way.
I don’t want to speculate on how that man was feeling, what he was going through emotionally, any of those things. I just wanted to take this time to speak about something that’s been weighing deeply on my heart. On this Five Minute Friday, I want to get vulnerable and real with you about suicide, depression, and talk about places we can find healing and true happiness in this world.
If you or a loved one is thinking about harming yourself, please get help from the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255). There are trained professionals on the other side of that phone call who want to help you get into a safe space.
There is happiness to be found. If you’ve been looking for it in the wrong place, it’s never too late to turn that around.
Join me on Episode 972 to learn why money and success isn’t always the answer.