This I Believe

Briana - Briarcliff, New York
Entered on June 8, 2006

In life, the ultimate goal is to be happy. How one gets there is something people have been wondering about for centuries. Is it money? Fame? Beauty? I believe the ultimate way to be happy is to be comfortable with yourself.

As consumers, we are constantly searching for new ways to fill the emptiness that we find in our lives. Buying a new outfit or going on an extravagant vacation is not going to change who each of us is on the inside. While buying new things may temporarily distract us from our problems, the only way to find satisfaction is to be content with who we are.

Most of the time, I convince myself that I am happy with who I am. However, most of the time, this is not the case. Material goods often seem as though they are capable of fulfilling my existence. I sometimes focus on money as the goal of life. While in some situations wealth may help to bring comfort and luxury, if I am not happy with my own personality and relationships with other people, I will never be pleased with my belongings, location, or lifestyle. As the old cliché says, money cannot buy happiness.

Enhancing my appearance is something that sometimes seems to satisfy that which is missing from my life. Millions and millions of dollars are spent annually by Americans on diet pills, work out videos, and self-help books in the hopes of improving their lives. However, appearance isn’t everything. In addition, the goal of self-improvement is very hard to achieve. There will always be something else to find fault with. Self-reformation is a never-ending challenge that usually does not bring satisfaction to its participant.

The grass-is-always-greener-on-the-other-side mindset is one that hinders the ability of people to find satisfaction in life. “If only I could go to a tropical beach and lose five pounds, everything would be perfect.” This type of thinking needs to be left behind if one truly wants to be content with his or her existence. To find happiness, I believe a person needs to address what exactly they want out of life. What do I feel is missing? Then, I need to figure out exactly how to achieve that.

Happiness is something that everyone wants to achieve. However, how each of us goes about this is a different story. Instead of convincing ourselves that a material item can bring happiness, I believe we all need to learn to accept who we are. Once this is done, it is then possible to obtain gratification and satisfaction and achieve life’s ultimate goal.