A Recipe for Happiness

Lauren - Briarcliff Manor, New York
Entered on June 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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A Recipe for Happiness

Mix one cup of laughter, one cup of adventure, one cup of education, two cups of love, a tablespoon of success, and a dash of surprise. Once well combined, let the mixture sit for a lifetime and enjoy. A recipe is a set of instructions for making or preparing something to obtain a desired end. I believe life is a recipe meant to be followed, but like all good cooking, a few additions must be added to suit one’s tastes.

Life has many unexpected twists and turns that alter the way one lives. As an avid chef, I have learned that not all recipes are perfect, just like certain events in one’s life. When preparing a meal, if all the ingredients are not at hand, one must compromise and show some flexibility. Usually, everything turns out just fine. For example, if I do not have enough semi-sweet chocolate morsels when baking delicious Toll-House chocolate chip cookies, I simply substitute any other chocolate I have at hand. The same compromises must be made in day to day living because life is not perfect and I have to learn to go with the flow. If I don’t get my preferred choice in a situation, I have learned to deal with what I am given. This ability to make adjustments is how I like to live my life.

There are always two extremes when making choices, but I’ve learned that a compromise between the two is quite often the best method. A dash of salt and pepper here or there seems to balance a meal. Rather than jumping into an unfamiliar recipe, it is best to read through the steps before beginning, just as it is important to learn how to swim before diving into a pool. I tend to involve myself in an overwhelming amount of activities and courses before thinking clearly about the large amount of time that I would need to devote. This causes much stress, and in the end, I would be much better off considering the consequences of my choices before signing up for a plethora of extracurriculars. When cooking, an excess of one ingredient is never tasty, just as engulfing myself in too many activities turns out to be counterproductive.

A recipe is based on the way the ingredients blend together, similar to the way one depends on another person in life. Time and again, the simplest recipes with the finest ingredients turn out the most satisfying, which reminds me that I don’t need to live a complex and materialistic life to be happy. Keep an eye on the time, so not to let the cookies burn because indulgence is the sweetest part of life.