The Truth About Happiness

Chaithanya - 10510, New York
Entered on June 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

There is a saying that subsists in almost every world culture: If you want something enough, it will come to you. It is an idea that conversely inspires those with the drive and discipline to accomplish great things to persevere in their trek toward satisfaction. When reiterated to someone who lacks such enterprise or tenacity, however – someone who would rather sit back and dream of what they could be, instead of working hard to make it happen – this mantra simply reinforces their stance that they need to do nothing to get things done, or to effect that which they want the most. I, unfortunately, belonged to the latter category.

I’ve wished for much from life, from the fervent need for “fun” during my younger days to the ideas of wealth and prestige of the preteen years. The dreams of the past aren’t gone – not yet. But they’ve been blunted and beaten down by the constraints of reality. Things I’d always known in my heart I could accomplish I now know in my mind I can never do, and that is a sobering thought. If to get older is to learn that my options and paths are just progressively more limited, that there is still everything to reach for but so little to grasp, then I want no part of it.

But that’s not my decision to make – whether I like it or not, I am getting older, and I am being presented with issues that I have never faced in the past. I cannot change the way things work: the only thing I can do is decide what to do with everything that is given to me. I must choose to change my way of dealing with life, or I will be trampled into the ground by it.

I choose the former. And with that choice, I start down the path of change.

I want to change the world by changing the people in it – or at least change the way they think. I want to awe them with everything around and inside them, help them appreciate what they have while inspiring them to work to achieve what they don’t. I want them to open up and see the world through my eyes. For it is a beautiful one, full of promise and with happiness hiding around every corner – perhaps hard to see at first, just barely eluding our sight, but always accessible if we try hard enough to find it.

This is what I believe: that true happiness doesn’t come to those who sit and wait for it, wallowing in their own doubt and self-pity with the mere hope of a brighter tomorrow. True happiness is found by those who don’t just reach for it, but push themselves enough that they can grasp it. This, to me, is enlightenment. It is not a gift that can be received or taught, but one that is earned through perseverance and the opening of one’s eyes.