Happiness is never a destination –it is a state of being that has little to do with “doing” –and here’s some ways to have it now…
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“What do you want to be in life?”
As a young adult you are often asked that exact question, and many of us if not all of us give fairly similar answers. We want to be successful and we want to be happy. If we are then asked which is more important to us some of us will hesitate, some of us will not, but we will say happiness is more important than anything else at the end of the day. If what we say is true, then why are we not living that way? Why isn’t all of our time and energy put into an effort to be happy all of the time? If happiness is truly more important to us than success, why do our actions tell a different story?
I am sure you can make a long list of your efforts to be successful, it’s easy because they are the things that are bred into us. We train hard for sports, we stay up all night studying and sacrifice sleep for a GPA, we get part time jobs and give away our hours to internships that look good on a resume. We pay hundreds of thousands of dollars, develop anxiety disorders and dangerously high stress levels and we reason the most unreasonable scenarios/assignments/behaviors in the name of one day, hopefully, possibly, being “successful”.
How many hours a day to you spend trying to become successful? The harder working natured people will tell you quite a few, or if not all of them, their entire routine is based around the concept of progress and success; late nights and early mornings, no time to chat or look around, no time to waste because success is fleeting and the more you slow down the faster it seems to run away from you. I then must ask you this, how many hours a day do you spend trying to achieve happiness? A conscious effort to be happy, how many hours do you dedicate to making yourself happy? I would assume very few, and as you read this you are beginning to have a realization, that you and I and the rest of our generation and many generations above are all hypocrites. We claim that happiness is our goal but yet we don’t put in the man hours to become happy. We clock in for minimum wages that are worth nothing compared to true elation, pure joy. We take such a circuitous route towards happiness. We say, “I sacrifice today so that one day I may be happy.” This is the greatest misconception of them all: Happiness is not a place that one arrives at, happiness is to be carried with you every step of your journey. It is a way of life it is a decision it is a vehicle that takes you where you want to be. Every tomorrow is another today and happiness in the future is no more important than your happiness in the present. You can work hard, slave away and pay your dues but still be happy! There is so much beauty in the world, so much beauty in your life but many of us are too focused on the concept of future happiness that we cannot see the potential happiness that is surrounding us. Love the little things, love the people, see the beauty in the struggle and the beauty of yourself. Know how to be alone. Have real conversation with real people. Be in the moment. Put down your phone. We are all insecure and afraid of being disconnected with the rest of the world, that we might miss out on something, so we scroll and we scroll and never realize that we are disconnected with the real world in front of us.
Being happy is not hard, but it takes effort! Stop taking yourself and the world so seriously and realize that we have no control over how our life begins or how its going to end but everything in between is completely up to you. There is no right or wrong way to live your life, just different ways. You can never live someone else’s life and no one else can ever live yours, and that is how special you are. We live our entire lives so that one day, when it is all said and done, we will look back at our lives and say, “I had a good life”, and that is all that is going to matter. Emotions are beautiful, do not hide from them, embrace them, the good and the bad. You don’t need a reason to cry and you don’t need a reason to laugh, but after you do both you feel better. Believe in yourself, believe in the world, and believe in your happiness. We as a human race underestimate our ability to adapt to adverse situations. We all have had many worries that we believed would be the end of the world and yet here we all are, still, adapting and surviving and stumbling through our lives the way that generations have done before us.
Go and chase the sunshine. Not a moment goes by in this confusing and intimidating world that the sun doesn’t shine somewhere.
—Ryan Anthony Dube
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