This I Believe

Garrett - Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Entered on May 2, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I Believe Happiness Is The Key To Success

Growing up in a small central Pennsylvanian town, I faced little adversity and conflict. I was sheltered and instilled with a good set of values and ethics, but I never understood the true meaning of life. To me life was just a process; you grow up, get an education, get a job, and then retire to spend what’s left of your life with a significant other. I was never able to understand the true meaning of life.

That was until I volunteered at a Special Olympics special event at The Pennsylvania State Golf Courses. I knew this day was going to be a challenging and eye-opening experience, but I never imagined what I was about to discover. Who would of thought that in such a short amount of time, these individuals could have had such a lasting impression.

One by one the animated and lively athletes began to arrive at the golf course. The smiles on their faces could have enlightened an underground cave. The athletes brought laughter and life to a seemingly dull day. I have never seen more energy and strength exhibited by anyone in my life. It’s a bit befuddling that these athletes are able to find happiness even with their daily struggles, yet most people live life without ever truly being happy.

As the day went on, I grew more attached to the athletes and no longer was a volunteer, but a friend. I began to realize that those ten athletes were about to teach me the key to living an enjoyable life. At that point my quest for true happiness and self-satisfaction was officially underway. Happiness isn’t found in money, popularity, or possessions but it’s about being yourself and enjoying the simple things that life has to offer. It is only when a person finds happiness that he or she can find ever-lasting success. Their unforgettable personalities and constant happiness inspired me to appreciate my life and accomplishments. These athletes taught me that the true meaning of life is finding happiness. Without happiness, a person can never live a satisfying and meaningful life. As the day ended, I had a new outlook on life and what lay ahead.