Happiness can be like a baffling alchemy. Like many, I used to wake up each and every day searching for happiness, and its corollary, peace of mind. After a long time of searching, I have discovered that no one element in life that can create consistent happiness – not loved ones, friends or family, schooling or lack thereof, money, a perfect therapist, a perfect cocktail, a great diet, bodily conditioning, or a spiritual outlook. The whole exercise now reminds me of the pursuit of alchemy.

Alchemy was the ancient idea that by combining the right elements, one could turn base metal into gold. Although by the 19th century, chemistry had shown alchemy to be a pseudo-science, people still spent their lives hoping they could discover a formula that would insure them happiness in the form of gold.

I believe that each of us has the capacity to experience a golden life by connecting our mind with the minds of others. Our willingness to connect with others creates a powerful emotional, intellectual and spiritual synergy. This synergy makes us richer than we could ever be by an isolated foray into the alchemy of happiness.

Connecting with others may not always keep us safe from sometimes irrational feelings and paralyzing vulnerabilities in relationship to others. Yet the synergy one receives from being vulnerable is worth more than all the gold in the world.