The Pursuit of Happiness

Abbie - Rock Hill, South Carolina
Entered on March 14, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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The Pursuit of Happiness

I believe that happiness is achievable wherever you are at any given time. It is not a coincidence, nor is it a situation to pursue. It is a decision made consciously and purposefully. Also, I believe that there are many different levels of happiness. Some levels give you a sense of happiness for a very short time while others can put a smile on your face any time of the day. I believe to achieve true happiness, you must realize that happiness is intrinsic.

I came to believe this so strongly when I was in the tenth grade. I was going through a rough period in my life and one day came across this quote by Robert Urich: We cannot control what happens to us, but we can control how we react to it. This quote not only made sense to me, but reminded me that no matter what happens to me, or the people around me, I am in control of my reactions and can make something better rather than worse.

I believe that happiness is something that all human beings strive to achieve. But, often, people are misguided in their quest for happiness. Our American culture leads us down this disillusioned path. Thanks to television, we are exposed to people’s perfect lives and often, we expect our lives to unfold perfectly just like in the movies. Our frustration in the search for happiness is a result of our unrealistic expectations. I believe that with the help of the media, we can make a complete turn around when it comes to this issue.

Helen Keller said something great about happiness, “ Happiness cannot come from without. It must come from within. It is not what we see and touch or that which others do for us which makes us happy; it is that which we think and feel and do, first for the other fellow and then for ourselves.” I believe that in order to achieve true happiness we must contribute to the world and be productive citizens while we are living. People always say that doing some sort of community work or service gives them a sense of purpose and internal happiness. We seem to find such little joys in retail shopping and getting new things, but these things can only make us happy temporarily. Material things may fill the void for a short while, but we still yearn to find a level of happiness that can sustain us throughout our lives.

I believe that people can achieve true happiness when they discover that happiness is a conscious choice. We must begin to be self-sufficient, self-loving and stop comparing our lives to others. I believe that when people stop comparing themselves to everyone around them, we will become a happier, more content, earth. We are all unique and possess special talents and skills. When we become comfortable in our own skin and accept our individuality, our talents and skills, then internal happiness is just around the corner!