This I Believe

Ian - West Palm Beach, Florida
Entered on October 8, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in being able to appreciate the little intricacies of life in order to be happy. Too many people will only see the big picture and tend to focus on the negative aspects of their lives. Each day I hear the complaints of others who have yet to grasp this idea. I feel that this is the best way to live a blissful and worry-free life.

I know from experience how the smallest details can often lead to an ultimately happy experience. I once went hiking with my Boy Scout group in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It rained continuously for a whole week, and all of my gear was soaked. Several of the planned activities like rock climbing and tree spiking were canceled because of the hazardous conditions. I hadn’t showered for nearly a week, and my legs were covered in the mud I had been trudging through. Most people would find these to be miserable conditions, but nothing could wipe the smile from my face.

I was enjoying myself. In spite of the horrible conditions I faced, I learned to notice the enjoyable parts of the trek. Every mountain I scaled gave me a sense of accomplishment. Being able to spend a week away from my busy and stressful home life gave me opportunity to reflect on my thoughts and what I wanted to do with my life. I had an opportunity to spend time with my friends, most of whom I don’t get to see more than once a week. The most gratifying experience was the self-sufficiency of backpacking in the outdoors. I had to cook my own food and filter water for drinking. My tent became my home. The independence of the outdoors was very satisfying.

There are many ways to describe my outlook on life. I feel that optimistic best explains my belief of enjoying the little things. If I can learn to shift my focus to the pleasant side of my life, I’ll become happier and more self-assured person. Rarely do I find myself sad or depressed. This is because I weed out most of life’s misfortunes and failures, and instead direct my attention to the positive elements. Eventually the smaller joys will outweigh the disappointments, making me a cheerful person.