Katie - auburn, Washington
Entered on November 9, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I’m starting this essay out by asking a question everyone wants to know. Can happiness be bought? The answer is no. To be happy in your life you have to change your expectations of what happiness really is. Give what you already have; share the best of it with others. And lastly, be able to forgive. I have realized that I control how I live my life.

You will never be happier then you expect. To change your happiness, change your expectation. Each of us is genuinely unique. We all have our differences. That includes what makes us happy. For example, my challenge is managing my depression. I got it from my mom’s side of the family. My mom has it and so does my grandmother. Even though we have help from medication, the struggle for happiness is still there. I have to work at it every day.

The gift of giving is an amazing concept. Giving to others makes you realize what is really important. It also makes issues easier to let go. Not wasting precious energy on something that truly doesn’t matter frees us to be happy. The reward of giving is what you get back. It’s called good karma and makes your life easier to live.

Forgiving is a gift you give to yourself. There is a saying “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” If you set your mind to forgive those that hurt you, you can then truly move on to become stronger. Because you’re stronger, you are able to take on greater obstacles. Replacing hate with love lets the brightness in, pushing the shadows in your life away.

I believe we make our own happiness. It’s found internally not externally. Your mind and body work as a team. If you aren’t happy, your body won’t be either. The first step is under-standing what makes you happy. The main problem is that the majority of society lives up to the expectation of others, not that of self-expectation. Try not to care what others think. Do what is right for you. When you can do that, then those things you thought impossible become possible. In the end, you’ll find that being true to yourself is the freedom that leads to happiness.