The Path to Happiness

Since I didn’t get the chance to post what I submitted as a guest post, I’ll be posting it here since it would be a shame if I didn’t share it. Do enjoy my friends, do enjoy.

People will always tell you things that they think are the correct answer to your life’s greatest questions. While you stumble around in the dark, they might say things that seem like bright lights in a dark tunnel. However, later you will find they were only glow in the dark stickers inside a vast dark room. What you wanted was someone to turn the light on, not distract you from what you really wanted. I’m here to tell you this though, you don’t need anyone else to turn that light on for you. You are plenty capable and talented enough to get up and turn the light on yourself. I’d like to tell you how I’ve managed to turn that light on in my life and what brought me to share that story with you.

“Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out of it alive.” – Elbert Hubbard

It all started when I was born twenty-two years ago…ok, maybe we won’t go back that far. Let’s start here then: it all started in my years of high school. Of course, high school is a time to discover yourself and find the path you are supposed to take in life. At least, that is what everyone will tell you, you need to do. It’s never really that simple though and in fact, it never is. The pressure to decide on a life career is so great with the advent of college and adult life right around the corner. Teachers will pressure you with career essays and tests and questions that you might not be ready or even care for. I changed career choices at least three times during my time in high school. Every time I felt helped by one of those previously stated pressures, I found a new passion right after. Therein lies the conundrum of our time.

We seem to think that the path to happiness lies in the answer’s others can provide for us. Those tests they made us take, while we certainly put the answers down, we weren’t the ones asking the questions or grading the results. After reacting to the things placed in front of us, we were placed in positions by others. I’m not saying a helping hand isn’t nice though, quite the opposite. We can use those things as stepping stones to find what we really want. Looking at other perspectives is a very powerful tool in any aspect of life. However, let me tell you one thing that will help us all adult a little bit better. Respect other people’s opinions, BUT realize the final choice is yours to make. In the end, it’s your life, your problems and ultimately, your solutions. Should we desire a satisfying end to a situation, it must be done through our own self-assured judgment. Any less and the control of our own lives is taken out of our hands.

As I floundered around my three career choices during high school, I never stopped to consider there might be a fourth option. I was blinded by the expectations of others, what I thought made the most money, and what I found to be a hobby but not a career. These weights all around us keep us from opening our eyes to other possibilities. For example, “I really want to paint for a living, but…my parents won’t approve, it’s a small job market, and I’m scared people won’t like my art.” If that sounds familiar my friends, that’s because like most people, we have been making excuses for ourselves most of our lives. I’ll make it very clear, if you want to do something, then go do it. The second I found a glimpse of my fourth option and I saw how much I liked it, I decided I needed to put aside those excuses and act.

“Positivity, confidence, and persistence are key in life, so never give up on yourself.” – Khalid

The greatest gift that we can give to ourselves is the gift of self-confidence. I’m here to tell you, ironically, that the path to happiness lies in yourself. Believe in the future you want to see yourself in and believe in yourself enough to get you there. You are right, those excuses aren’t true and you can do it! I don’t think I can stress just how important it is to do that, but I also understand how hard that it can be sometimes. It’s so easy to fall back to those things, we can get lazy and complacent at a moments notice. So, here’s my advice: keep your eye on the prize. You almost need to start brainwashing yourself a little.

Every time you notice yourself slipping remind yourself of what you want to be. Whenever I felt like I would be crushed by the expectations around me I would tell myself. “You can do this, you are the guy who is going to change the world.” Once things are put in perspective like that, the small excuses seem less important. Because as humans, we are driven by goals. Make a goal for yourself and remind yourself of it all the time. Work for it, struggle for it, and finally achieve your long-awaited lifelong dreams. Trust me, the hard work will be worth it in the end. Once, you have that goal, don’t ever turn away and find the strength that’s been hidden inside yourself this whole time. It’s there and it’s just waiting for you to unleash it. Now, it’s time for you to go turn on the light, with your own strong, independent hands. The bright future you bring forth is yours to make.

Have a splendiferous day.

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