How many of us can honestly say that we put our own happiness ahead of everyone else’s 100% of the time? I’ve never been good at math but I’m willing to bet the number is very small. I am 22 years old and up until recently, I’d spent the majority of my time trying to make everyone happy. I would change plans, fill my schedule, and practically refused to say no anytime someone needed a favor. It’s a nice feeling, knowing you make someone’s life better. But it was only when I had completely drained myself that I realized my own happiness depended on my decision to put myself first once in awhile.
I love people. I love meeting them, talking to them, learning from them. My happiest memories always involve other people. Unfortunately, people can be exhausting and as I get older, I cherish what little time I have to myself. I went from being a full time student, to working a full time job that specifically involves keeping people happy. I feel like I’ve always made decisions based on what will make everyone happy with me. Let me just give you all a spoiler alert: you will never be able to make the world happy. But you can do a billion things to make yourself happy.
I have found more peace and tranquility in making my happiness top priority than I ever have by running around and doing things I didn’t especially care for. Something as simple as taking a drive on my own or as big as leaving the only job I’d known for four years has been my main source of growth recently. I read some advice once that said, “Learn to say no without explaining yourself.” My happiness needs no explanation, no justification, and no apologies. I love making other people happy, but putting my own needs on the back burner is simply unacceptable.
Maybe it makes me selfish to treat myself as number one priority once in a while. But, just for a moment, consider the biggest goal you hope to achieve in your life, whether it be personal, professional, or what have you. Can you achieve this goal by constantly jumping through hoops for other people and never taking any time for yourself? Can you ever really be happy with your life if you’re always trying to make other people happy with theirs? It’s not impossible, but it does get easier when you decide to become your own best friend and put yourself first. Be selfish. Be unapologetic. And above all else, be happy.