Do What Makes You Happy

We all have our hobbies, friends, and family who make us feel happy. In our daily lives, we are faced with situations that can drag us down into negativity, depression, and hopelessness. Sometimes, the situations are beyond our control, and we have to develop healthy coping mechanisms to feel happier. But in other situations, we can change the outcomes. Sometimes there are people in our lives who are the ones dragging us down, or sometimes where we are in life makes us unhappy.

Years ago a friend gave me what sounded like the simplest advice I’d ever heard, but in reality, it was the best advice I’d ever been given. When I asked him about what I should do in a certain situation that was making me unhappy, he said, “You need to do what makes you happy. If you’re not happy, change it.”

Sounds simple, right? Not quite. When we’re going through the motions, living our lives from day to day, how often do we find ourselves complaining about the people causing us grief? How often do we complain about our jobs, or our home lives, or school? Even if I’m not complaining, many people around me are.

If you’re stressed out about a situation with something you know is not out of your control, ask yourself: “Am I happy?” This may not be a simple “Yes” or “No” answer right away, because you may feel conflicted. Maybe some aspects about your situation do give you some happiness, but you have to decide if, ultimately, the situation as a whole, the good and bad, is making you happier or more depressed/stressed.

If the answer to the question “Am I Happy?” is “No,” then you have to ask yourself the next important question: “What WILL make me happy?” This is the question that will cause you the most difficulty. While you may already know the answer to your question, it’s a matter of accepting what you have to change in order to make yourself happy. Change is hard. Doing something to change your own life can feel scary. But what you have to do is realize that changing your life for the better will give you a brighter future.

After figuring out what you have to do to make yourself happy: do it. This is the part that people don’t always go through with. We see so many people who know they’re unhappy, know what they have to do to change it, but then they don’t do anything about it. They continue to complain, feel sorry for themselves, and drag themselves down even more, when the solution is staring them right in the face. Actually making a change is the hardest part because we are afraid of the unknown. But sometimes, we have to face our fears, knowing that being happy is most important.

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…because i’m a twentysomething

This blog post is filled with great advice. Even if you’re not in your
20’s, it’s an important post to read. Inspiring words and ideas. If you have dreams, go after them! This is how I’m going to live my life.

today was meaningful

when i was thirteen, i couldn’t wait to be eighteen.  i thought i’d know it all by then- have all the answers and that prized freedom. and when i was sixteen, i planned to be married by age twenty-three with two kids. i’ll always smile to myself when i think about how time changes things. and when i turned twenty four i made a list of as many goals as i had in years. by my 25th birthday, i’d accomplished them all.

and a funny thing happens about the time you turn twenty.five. people start asking about marriage and kids and houses. and you begin to worry about savings, retirement, and health insurance.  you start spending your money on plates.pots.new tires. short term sacrifices for long term gains, right? and sometimes you start to compare your 25 years with everyone else’s. you wonder if you’re on the right track because…

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Disconnect Movie Review (Warning: Potential Spoilers)

Source: imbd.com

Source: imbd.com

The movie Disconnect is unlike other recent movies about the dangers of the internet. This movie is not about how dangerous our world has become, thanks to technology (though that does play a part in the movie); it is about trust.

Starring Jason Bateman (in the best performance of his career so far), Max Thieriot, Frank Grillo, and Jonah Bobo, Disconnect shows four seperate stories; while these stories are all different, they all have something in common. While at the surface it seems that the common factor is the internet, that is only scratching at the surface. In every story, each character builds a trust with someone else. They feel an emotional connection, and while some would say it’s naive, I would say these characters were hopeful. They hoped to find the good in someone, and put their trust in another.

Then, in every story, somehow that trust is broken. In each of the four situations, there is a devastating conflict that ensues after the character realizes that the trust has been broken. Yet the most interesting, and almost frustrating, aspect of the movie is the lack of resolution at the end. There are no happy endings in this movie. In fact, there are no endings at all. While in some movies we may be left with a hint of what happens to each character, there are no hints in this movie. We are left with endless questions, and some may find that frustrating that they have to tie up their own loose ends to make the story a happy ending.

I thought that this movie had no endings because the endings are not important. Yes, it would be comforting to see all of the characters resolve their differences, learn their lessons, and become better people. But that’s not what this movie is telling us. This movie shows that what happens in the end isn’t what matters. These characters built a trust with others, not because they were naive, but because they were hopeful. Then, the trust was broken, and every character realized that humankind can be evil, deceptive, and not as it seems.

While some want happy endings, that is not the point of Disconnect. The point is that it doesn’t matter if these characters learned their lessons, if they become better people, if they live or die. What matters is that these characters had hope, trust, and those feelings were torn apart by someone else.

Technology may assist in allowing people to be more deceptive and secretive, but this happens with or without the internet. Disconnect shows that age does not matter, gender does not matter, money or social status does not matter; anyone can have hope, anyone can trust, and anyone can take that away from us.

Are We Really Free?

I sometimes wonder if we are individuals, or if society and the media are trying to tell us we should all be the same. I didn’t learn anything about critical thinking until I went to college, and high school was taught in a black-and-white way. I wonder if society doesn’t want people thinking critically. We’re supposed to all follow the societal rules without question. Like my last post in which I wrote about experiencing life, I now wonder if society tries to discourage that. They want us to be blind, living life without thinking, without allowing our minds to grow.

This is America, and supposedly we have freedom. But it’s freedom within our society’s rules. We can do whatever we want, as long as we go to college, get married, work practical jobs, have children, and don’t ask questions. Even though we’re “free,” there are still societal limitations. There are in every culture. Even in America, if a person branches too far from those expectations, they can be shunned from society.

I have to wonder: Are we really free?

Traveling the World

As a young American, I feel as if all my life I have wanted to experience life. This sounds like a vague statement, and I agree that it is. But when we think about it, how many of us are REALLY experiencing life?

To me, there is a difference between LIVING life and EXPERIENCING life. When we’re living, we’re just…here. We go through the motions: wake up, go to work, come home, go to sleep, repeat. We go to school, some go to college, we get jobs, get married, have kids, and don’t even think twice about WHY. We do what we think we are supposed to, and to me, that’s not EXPERIENCING life at its fullest.

My goal in life is to EXPERIENCE life. Food, travel, music, philosophy, literature, culture. These things expand my mind and teach me new things. I want not only to live, but to live in the best way possible for me. I think part of experiencing life is realizing that it’s okay to ask “Why?” My path to happiness may be different than someone else’s.

Find your happiness and what you need to experience life. If you’re only living, you’re just here. DO something.