This I Believe

Tiffany - Wichita, Kansas
Entered on March 11, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I Believe in Happiness

In the first grade, I thought I would be a writer when I grew up. Every Monday my teacher assigned a creative writing prompt and every Tuesday, I’d be the first volunteer to read my masterpiece. However, by the fourth grade, I was fairly certain that I would be a gymnast when I grew up. In gymnastic class, each time I learned a new trick, I would ring the cowbell, which signaled everyone else of my achievement, at which point I could show off my new skill. I couldn’t wait to become famous. By the sixth grade, my decided future lay in the money-reaping world of orthodontics. I had just gotten my braces, and was one of the rare patients who loved her oral metal devices. Plus, my orthodontist had apple juice, donuts, and flavored gloves, all of which quickly won me over. Now a junior, I am still pursuing the exact same thing that I did in the first, fourth, and seventh grades, that thing being happiness.

I believe in happiness.

Happiness wasn’t fame, and it wasn’t money. I realize now that all my life’s plans and goals culminate in that one final joyful attitude, that one final smile before death.

For me, happiness is a tangible, attainable ideal. Being happy isn’t simply the presence of favorable conditions; happiness requires effort. It’s easy to be happy if you are given a bowl of ice cream, but sometimes, you have to make your own.

I construct my own favorable conditions by surrounding myself by positive, caring people; not dwelling on negative thoughts; and creating more happy memories.

Happiness is a state of mind, and for me, a chosen state of mind.

This isn’t to say that I don’t become unhappy, I simply don’t believe in staying that way. I find me commanding myself to be cheery: when I’m sad, I smile. I don’t suppress my negative feelings—I turn them around, building upon them to create something positive for myself.

The desire to be happy is what drives me in all my decisions. Everything I do, I choose to do because it pleases me. Why waste my life pleasing others?

When a friend is happy, I’m happy. When I’m happy, I can make someone else happy. Happiness is so easily created, maintained, and transferred. Happiness could be the glue that holds friendships, families, or even cultures together.

Each passing moment gives me a chance to be and make myself happy. With all these opportunities jumping at me, I find it impossible to not jump at them in pursuit of happiness.