What is happiness?
It’s easy to say that you are happy about something. But most of the time, it always dies down so soon and you start a never-ending quest of finding happiness again.
There’s no age you have to reach, career you have to achieve, or place you have to go to just to label yourself happy. Yes. You have goals, dreams and things you want to attain in your life, but understand that achieving them doesn’t necessarily guarantee your happiness. There’s a possibility that once you achieve them, you’ll only desire for more and it’s almost always that case. Once you achieve your current goals, you’re only bound to set higher and grander goals until your eyes lose track of the ‘now’.
Now is the perfect time to be happy and this is how you’ll truly get there.
1. Take your time.
Breathe in, breathe out. Let me remind you, you’re still young and the most valuable thing you possess is time. Remember, this is your life. You create your own timeline. You can go forth now and figure it all out if you can, but if you can’t, it’s okay too. It’s alright to have an unknown future, to take detours and walk on uncharted paths. Don’t worry about it, instead embrace the way life will surprise you. Stop trying to figure out your entire life just yet. You are not on a race.
When you’re 38, no one will give a damn if your life is exactly how you pictured it or you’re still wandering. The world will not censure you, unless you let them. Stop pressuring yourself into thinking you have a certain time table or standard to follow. Not all who wander are lost. It’s okay to take your time. Take time in finding out what you really want, what career you want to pursue, who you want to marry, when you want to have kids. Take time in working for your future while being genuinely happy at it. You will figure the rest out in time. You will be someone great, still.
2. Go for what you love, no hesitations.
Strive to make your passion your profession. Go for whatever you love, whatever makes your heart skip a beat whether it’s your passion in writing, taking photographs, business, taking care of sick people. Whatever it is, just go for it. Don’t grant people the authority to tell you you’re not worthy of the things you wish to pursue. Don’t give people the license to sway you or drown out the inner you; you know yourself better than anyone else.
3. Fall in love hard and don’t think twice.
Life is too short to not savor the thumping feeling in your chest. Fall in love with people, places, and things head over heels. No safety blanket, no barriers and definitely no armors. To experience love in its most lavish form, you have to brave the oceans and dare yourself not to drown. But even if you drown, you can always find you way back to the shore and when you’re ready, try again one more time. Let go of yourself and feel.
4. Appreciate the littlest of things
A grateful heart is a happy heart. The fact that you’re awake today is something to be appreciated. Not to mention the evidence of your feet that enable you to walk and the complimentary air that permits your lungs to breathe. You see it’s a matter of perspective. Stop feeling like you have less than what others have, because some also feel the same way about you. Ironic right? But it’s true, we’re either less or more for others.
Gratitude is not about appreciating the things you have yet to receive: it’s about treasuring the things you have now, it’s realizing everyday how blessed you are. If you learn the art of appreciating the smallest of things, you will master the art of gratitude and your life will eventually change.
5. Embrace the bad stuff.
Whether you lost your job, or the man you thought was “the one” is now someone else’s, or you failed your college application – just learn to embrace it. Grasp on it like it’s the most extravagant thing that happened in your life.
You’re on your 20s, you have all the freedom to make your own mistakes. Don’t be frightened to fail, lose or struggle. It is fascinating to be bare, it is incredible to have nothing to hold on to, it is marvelous to be in so much agony and it is astounding to have your life fall apart. Why? Because all these can only make you a beautiful person. A strong, brave and compassionate individual. Don’t be disheartened when you go through this. Don’t be scared, it will pass.
6. Lastly, live. Darling, just live.
Don’t ever let yourself be one of those people who sits around in the same place with the same people, while they look back to their 20s overwhelming with regrets, what ifs, and what could have beens if only they tried. But instead live now, risk it all now. Do whatever you want to do NOW, now is the perfect time to make the best out of your 20s.
Balance fun and work. Don’t get lost in your career or in the happy hour. Get lost in the ‘now.’ Explore, discover and experience. Don’t fritter your time on things that doesn’t even contribute to your soul. If you focus more on the ‘now’, you’ll come to love who you truly are. You’ll stop comparing your pace with others and you’ll embrace the beautiful process of growth.
Being a 20-something is never easy. There will be no certain rules or steps, only vast uncertainty. However keep on keeping up with life. Eventually, you’ll notice yourself maturing. You’ll look at a new version of yourself, either your idea of who you’re going to be or someone you don’t even recognize, someone strange – and strange can be good. In the end it’s the things you did, the decisions you made and the adventures you experienced that create your distinct identity.