I recently got the chance to volunteer for Toys for Tots, and the whole experience reminded me of the key to happiness.

I recently got the chance to ride the Toys for Tots train from Binghamton to Delanson and hand out thousands of toys and other items to families in need. Helping those families was a humbling, enlightening experience, and it reminded me of an important lesson about the topic I want to address today: the pursuit of happiness. 

Oftentimes, we’re not happy in our daily lives. As the old saying goes, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” In other words, we’re not happy because we always want more. We look at what our neighbors have that we don’t. Over all the years I’ve worked in real estate and the hundreds of clients I’ve met with, I’ve learned that we tend to spend the first half of our lives acquiring things, and the second half getting rid of things we don’t need. 

If you know me, you know that I drive a 10-year-old car with 200,000 miles on it, and there’s a reason for that. It relates to a quick story I want to share with you. 

About 10 years ago, when I got my first taste of success in the real estate industry, I bought something I wanted since I was a teenager: a Porsche 911 Cabriolet. Awesome car, right? I thought it was all I needed in life to be happy, but guess what? I had it for maybe 30 days before my excitement wore off.

“There was nothing more satisfying than giving out toys to all those families in need.”

Remember, this was a time when the economy was tanking and a lot of my friends were losing their jobs, and I learned then that things don’t make me happy. Want to know what happened to that car that actually did make me happy? Selling it to my best friend. That made him happy, so it made me happy too. 

Whatever you celebrate this time of year, think about giving rather than receiving. I guarantee that this will lead to happiness for you.

Speaking for myself, there was nothing more satisfying than giving out toys to all those families in need, so I want to remind you that our office is an unofficial drop-off site for Toys for Tots. If you have any toys you’d like to give away, give them to us and we’ll make sure they find their way to that great organization before the holiday season is over. 

No matter what you celebrate, I hope you have a happy holiday this year. As always, if you ever need anything from me and my team, don’t hesitate to call me. We’ll make the magic happen for you.