Happiness: The one thing we should all strive for

If you were to ask me what the most important thing in life is, I would respond “To be happy” without even thinking.  I mean, what could be better than walking around with a smile on your face at all times, looking at life in a positive way?  Unfortunately, too many people become obsessed with things greater than this simple concept of happiness, of enjoying and being content with who and what you have in your life.  True happiness can never be bought; in my book, that is an absolute fact.

Something such as money, for example, has the power to make or break lives.  Is it important in life?  To some extent, yes, it is essential.  But should we strive to be rich?  Does having more money than our neighbor or colleague really make life that much better?  It can, but there is always the chance that money will become your only source of happiness, in which case, it may not even be possible to tell if we are truly happy or not.  We all have our ups and downs in life, myself included, but sometimes being an optimist and looking at life through a positive lens makes all the difference. When I say we should strive to be happy, here is what I mean:

1. Do what you love: This one should be easy to understand, but think about how many people work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. jobs that they despise.  I understand that jobs are not easy to come by anymore and that people have to support themselves, but is living each day of your life in misery worth it?  Think of a job or career that you would love to have and act out on it.  If you can find a job that puts you in a good mood each day you step into the office, you’re on the right track.

2. Don’t let others map out your life for you: Maybe someone wants you to be a doctor because you are intelligent and knowledgeable.  Maybe someone wants you to be a teacher because you have a knack for helping and educating others.  But is it what you want to do?  If you want to play sports or music for a living, go do it, as long as it makes you happy.  If someone doesn’t believe in you, believe in yourself.  It’s your life.  Look at comedian Demetri Martin, for example.  He had a scholarship to the New York University School of Law when he realized that comedy was his calling, what he wanted to do with his life.  I don’t condone leaving school by any means, but what Martin did is quite simple – he followed his passion.  He did what he thought was the right course of action in his own life and look where he is now.

3. Find out what inspires you: Everyone is inspired by someone or something: athletes, musicians, authors, family members, friends, you name it!  For me, it is a simple yet adequate list: writing, Cabrini College and the band Circa Survive.  First off, I never considered writing to be an interest of mine until I discovered Circa Survive’s music.  Once I realized I had a passion for writing it began to consume my life and now I can only hope and dream that I can make some sort of career out of writing and journalism.  Secondly, Cabrini College is full of extraordinary professors and students alike, play on words intended.  I couldn’t be happier with the people I get to spend each day with, not to mention the fact that I already have over a dozen published articles for the Loquitur.  Just having that little bit of experience as a journalist inspires me to write more, to write better, to be optimistic for what the future holds for me as a communication major.

Obviously, we all have different views of life; I am not trying to convince anyone to completely alter their lives.  I just want people to think about what happiness means to them.  You control your own life, you make your own dreams and you find happiness in life because of who and what you already have.  Everyone, and I mean everyone, can find some form of happiness in their life if they have the right mindset.

With that being said, are you happy?

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