This I Believe

Kristen - Louisville, Colorado
Entered on December 19, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

My Secret to Happiness

“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions and not upon our circumstances.” –Martha Washington.

When I was going into ninth grade I decided to try out for the volleyball team. I wasn’t a horrible player; I had played through out middle school and practiced a lot through out the summer. So when tryouts came along I was pretty confident that I would make the team. The first few days of tryouts went pretty good, I had even made it through the first cut. I was really excited because I had heard that almost everyone makes the final cut. As the week finished and the coaches made their final decisions we were told to call a number at seven o’clock to find out if we made it. I remember sitting there with butterflies in my stomach as a recording of the coach’s voice began to name the numbers that did not make it. My number was called. At first I thought that I miss heard it, so I redialed the number and listened to the message again. Once again, my number was called. My heart dropped as tears began to fall out of my eyes. I was so disappointed in the decision; I felt that I had failed. About a half-hour later I realized that not making the volleyball team wasn’t such a big deal. Right then I called up a friend who also didn’t make the team and we decided that we would do cross-country. Cross-Country was a great experience. I met tons of new people and had some really fun times. In addition to cross-country I was able to focus more on dance by taking it more seriously. Not making the volleyball team could have been a miserable experience but instead I looked on the positive side, which has led me to better things.

I believe that life is how we perceive it. I could have been miserable for months because I didn’t make the volleyball team but instead I chose happiness over misery. Do you know why? Because that is a choice I could control. Happiness isn’t given to you; it isn’t sitting there waiting for you to find it. Happiness is a choice, so is sadness, anger, and jealousy. Feelings exist only in our minds; therefore we have full control on how we use them. I feel that I am a happy person because of how I live my life. I like to try to look at the positive side of things: I don’t let little things bother me, I stay away from friends that will bring me down, and most of all I like to laugh especially at myself.

Martha Washington’s quote sums up one of my strong life beliefs that our happiness is controlled by us not by the situations that surround us.