Happiness. That’s the end goal, right? Wrong. Why does happiness have to be the end? Can’t we be happy our whole lives? We’ve been conditioned from an early age to be on the pursuit of happiness, to make goals and achieve them, instead of paying attention to how we get there. The thing I’ve come to realize is that you don’t have to achieve your goals in order to be happy. You can choose to be happy at any moment and at any time, even right now
Happiness radiates through the way you carry yourself every day. It’s this magical energy that you have towards life and towards the purpose in which you do things. Happiness is something very personal. It is the result of all of your experiences, and your actions from the moment you wake up, to the moment you go to sleep.
Take a few days ago, for example. I was walking home from dinner and I glanced up. The sky was just getting darker, a combination between indigo and denim blue. The contrast between the yellow tinted lights and the dark sky looked so beautiful. The color of the sky is such a simple thing, but for some reason it filled me with warmth and happiness.
You can’t learn happiness in school. No one teaches you how to be happy. For me, it makes me happy to do things for others. I’m a big believer in doing the small things. Along the same lines, small acts of kindness are kind of like my “thing.”
However there’s a few things you need to learn before you can be truly happy.
It’s really important to have balance in our lives. Of course there is no question, that it’s crucial to work hard in school. However, it’s also crucial to have fun. My motto is “in ten years will you remember the homework assignment or the family dinner?” Everything needs to be put into perspective. It is not an excuse to avoid your work, but sometimes family and your own happiness needs to come first. High school and college are times to make memories. School is definitely important and you have to do well, but give yourself breaks and let yourself have fun too!
Speak less, listen more. It is so important to listen to other people. Whether it is other people’s opinions, general conversation, or letting them vent, being able to listen is an amazing quality. We all get very caught up in our own lives, it’s a fact of life, but giving someone your attention can help them more than you can ever imagine.
Believe in yourself. Hard work does not necessarily equal success. This is a concept that no one wants to accept. Always believe in yourself and keep going. As Dory from Finding Nemo said, “Just keep swimming.” You are your harshest critic. If you believe in yourself, others will believe in you as well. One day you are no longer going to be a student, parent, wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, teacher, doctor, lawyer, or survivor. No longer defined by these terms but instead by happiness, bravery, strength, courage, honesty, compassion, love, and generosity. Define yourself by these terms and others will find them within you.
It’s okay to be wrong. It’s okay to make mistakes, to fail 999,999 times. Because on the millionth try, you may succeed, and you may be right.
So, ask yourself, where is your own happiness? What makes you happy? Stop looking for happiness in the future and find how it winds itself through your life every day.
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