Happiness is something the world struggles with on a daily basis; maybe it’s not about the happy endings, but maybe it’s the stories along the way. Throughout my life I have encountered several trials that tug on my ability to become happy, robbing just a little ray of sunshine at the end of the tunnel. With some of the situations I have been in, people may say I should be unhappy, but that’s just the opposite. I grasped onto the trials or maybe lessons and brought them to a positive time in my life making me appreciate the little things most take for granted. We all have stages of happiness in our lives; according to the Authentic Happiness Inventory score of 4.08 out of 5 that I’m at a pretty happy stage. I can say there are time were I feel lonely or depressed, but what truly matters is how you react to the moments and make them positive. The three main ambitions that I constantly live by contribute to my happiness are family, serving, and faith.
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During my childhood my father wasn’t always around, due to work. Being a truck driver’s daughter can be difficult by not having him around. Needless to say a little girl needs her father. Growing up not being able to participate in the father daughter dances or dinners put strain on our relationship, making me feel depressed and unloved. Pushing through those emotions, it made me appreciate the moments we do have together, just talking and enjoying each other’s company. When he’s able to be at home, the whole family gets together and have either a movie night or a BBQ. Not always having those moments often make them special, making you appreciate what I have. In the movie Happy, Psychologists explain how during social activity the brain releases the chemical dopamine that helps with the process of feeling happy. Coming together with family will always be a special moment in my life, which is another reason why happiness shining bright in my life.
There comes a time in everyone life when we need help. Starting as a child to adulthood we should strive to be a serving person. If it’s to helping a friend through hard times or maybe feeding the poor, one little positive moment in time could change a person’s perspective on life. For instance, an acquaintance from the church I attend was in need of a nanny due to her cancer-ridden father. Waking up around 4:30, ready to take on a day with her boys, I loved every moment of it. Making sure they had breakfast, was tidy, and ready to go to school, I proudly took care of them as an unpaid nanny. For me I didn’t need the money to make me happy, all I needed as the satisfaction of knowing I was able to help her while she took care of her cancer-ridden dad. In the article “If Money doesn’t make you Happy, then you probably aren’t Spending It Right” (Dunn, Gilbert and Wilson 440) helping others instead of yourself was a main principle, stating we should strive to serve others not just ourselves. Serving others can make you forget about your problems and help you realize you are truly blessed beyond means.
Being lost through some of my teenage years I felt I was alone; faith wasn’t a big part of my life at this moment. Striving to be in the “popular” group or to have the next “big thing” was something I struggled with on the daily. Pushing to be known I eventually began to be bully over how dark my complexion was and how I wasn’t “pretty” enough to be in the popular group. As I got older and into high school it seemed like everything got better, but finally my senior year I went from the ugly duckling to being confident in my skin. Finding out why I was made the way I was, and that I’m never alone in the world, no matter if people come and go I will always have my faith in god to push me through. Faith helped me find who I am and to love who I am. It taught me to never hate myself because of the standards the world puts me under, but to embrace the inner beauty on how he made me. Faith helped me to love and to be the happy confident women I am today.
Life is full of experiences, temptations, and hurt yet we love every moment of it. Wonderfully made moment and heart-wrenching situations, but we react in a craze. How we react to the situations and if we are positive or negative that affect the way we are happy. Life tests us to see if we can get up and take it like a champ. How we react is one of the shining moments a person will always remember about you, so stay positive they might look up to you. The way I was able to conquer my hurt was to find my flow. Engaging through your flow takes your mind off of the world for just that moment in time and turns something negative to positive. Serving others in need helps one to move forward and helps you remember all of the blessings you have. Having positive friends and family encouraging you can help to your happiness also. Happiness isn’t in the happy endings, but in the stories it takes along the way.
“Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology.” Authentic Happiness :: Using the New Positive Psychology. The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, 2006. Web. 23 Feb. 2014. < http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/Default.aspx>
Diener, Ed and Richard Davidson. Happy. Wadi Rum Films, Inc. Roko Belic. 2010. Film
Dunn, Elizabeth W., Daniel T. Gilbert, and Timothy D. Wilson. “If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy, Then You Probably Aren’t Spending It Right,” Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. 12th ed.2013 Print.