Often at times when I am laying in bed trying to fall asleep, a thousand thoughts come to mind. One night, when I was unable to pass out as immediately as I would have liked, I started to think of how the definitions of happiness and success were very different for me in the past.
I was convinced that in order to be happy and successful, my life had to be a certain way – always looking for things to make me happy like getting good grades and a good job. I had set very high standards for myself and every time I was unable to reach them, I thought I was a failure. It took me years to realize how misguided my definition of a happy life was.
Growing up I had a plan: I was going to get my Masters degree, get a job where I made bank, get married, and have children before the age of 30. That was it; I did not see beyond that. I was doing alright until I got my Master’s degree in Human Development and Family Relations in a family filled with medical professionals.
I chose an alternative route compared to my family. As I got older, I started to learn more about myself and my passions, and all the ‘requirements’ that I needed for a happy life started to seem more like an obligation. I had always had a life plan and when I realized that is not what I wanted, I was suddenly so lost and disoriented. I felt like a disappointment because as a Nepali in my society, I was not meeting the standards that had been expected of me. I still have not, while I am continuing to navigate life.
About two years ago, my best friend Katie G told me about laws of attraction and the power of positive affirmations. At first, it sounded ridiculous but I started to practice it. It is what you consciously think of and what your subconscious starts creating. I started to practice monitoring my thoughts because what you feel is what you consistently think about . At first, it was very frustrating but I had to keep coming back to it. I did not know what else to do.
Every day I continue to practice how I use my mind; I think of what I want and desire instead of what I do not want. It is a daily conscious decision that I have to make. Whatever you put your energy in is what comes back to you. I follow the ‘Feel/Believe/Receive’ philosophy. In this universe, believe it or not, what you are seeking is also seeking you back (it is your choice what you choose to seek). I started to stay more in the present rather than feel guilty about the past or worry about the future. I started to believe that every moment has a meaning and if we pay attention, we can learn so much from it.
I started to feel more strongly about my passion to write because I felt I had a purpose and I could not waste my presence in the world without giving something back. So, here I am writing – it’s not always easy but I’m still writing.
As my thoughts and beliefs started to change, I started to change. I started to like this version of myself more than what I used to be. Someone asked me what is the most important thing people should know about you? My answer is this: ‘I am a happy person. Genuinely happy.’
I don’t know whether the laws of attraction or positive affirmations changed my life, or if it was experiences, but it changed for better. Life started to feel happier. I follow certain life philosophies that guide me through life every day, and they have helped me immensely in the last two years.
Instead of focusing on not being a doctor, I started to focus on what I could do: write. I started to write about how I felt different and started meeting more women who grew up feeling the same way – all of the sudden, I felt less alone because there are so many of ‘me’ out there.
I started to appreciate and value moments and family and friends who love and support me every day. Surrounding yourself with high quality people who radiate positivity is when I feel like I am at the highest point of my life. I am grateful every day for a family that continues to support me in my ambiguous goals, as long as I am satisfied with my life every moment.
We all have bad days and that is when it is most important to be brave, because that helps you to keep moving forward in life. I always have something to look forward to – it does not matter whether it is big (vacation) or small (a cookie at the end of the day). The belief that there is something good up ahead will help you through many bad days.
A couple of days ago I read a quote that said,
“What will people say?”
This sentence has killed more dreams in the world than anything else.
It is so true. I was so unhappy when I cared about what people thought and let it affect my choices in life. As you grow older, you have to teach yourself to not let your decisions get affected by what people might say because the truth is: people will continue to talk about you. And none of that should matter. The people who love you will stay in your life, no matter what path you choose; and it is these people who will stand by your side.
Every day is a new day. Every day, I choose to be kind. Every day, I choose to appreciate and value the people in my life. Every day, I choose to see the beauty in this world. Every day I choose to be happy, because it took me years to realize this: Happiness is always in your line of sight – just open your eyes and look at it.