Words of the Week: Happiness

Over the past semester and especially over this break, I have been thinking a lot about the “self-inventory” I must do on myself in order to assess what I want to be doing and where I most want to be for the rest of my life.

My professors last semester consistently talked about finding what makes you happy – what town to live in, what people to surround yourself with, what job to go to every day – and made it clear that unless you find those things, you will not reach your full happiness potential.

At first, I was so unsure of what would make me happiest. It seemed so overwhelming to be thinking about all those things right then and there. I had and have no idea where I want to live the rest of my life or what exact job I want to go to every day. I am definitely a planner, but having to choose all those things with my future happiness impending seemed so, well, scary – much like many other aspects of senior year.

But also like being a college senior, so many aspects of making these decisions are also exciting. I think this is particularly exciting to me because I love the idea that I get to choose what I will be doing and where I will be. I, above anyone else, have the power to make myself happy.

Understanding the fact that I have that ability is probably the most important step towards that happiness for me. For so long, I felt so wrapped up in the need to make everyone else happy that I forgot my personal happiness was the most important thing of all. Once I worked towards pleasing myself instead of solely others, everything else seemed to fall into place.

I thought that this Audrey Hepburn quote was a great way to sum up how I feel in making these choices or even thinking about them:

happiness

The more I think about the decisions that I will eventually have to make for myself, the more I realize that there are so many different paths I could take that would all make me happy. When I think about that, though, it also makes me realize that no matter what choices I make, I will always ensure that I am filled with joy and always enjoying the ride of life.