The Key To Living Your Life Happily

If You Intend To Be Happy In Your Pursuits You Must;

Be True To Yourself
So true though. You just gotta be yourself.

Its impossible to exaggerate the importance and power of “self talk” in relation to your overall happiness. When you think of yourself as having worth, you challenge yourself more, accomplishing more in the process and begin truly believing in the untapped potential contained within. Believing in yourself and doing what makes you happy translates into added benefits in all areas of your life as well.

People tend to want to spend time with you when you’re positive, comfortable, and confident in your interactions. Honesty and authenticity in your words and actions is easily recognized by others. You’ll enjoy healthier relationships; rich and fulfilling in nature. Acting naturally ensures the people in your life appreciate you for who are.

They accept and like you because of your “flaws”, not in spite of them. Doing things you enjoy even makes work, and getting an education fun. If you don’t have passion for what you’re doing, you’ll find its hard do well or for very long. It won’t matter how much it pays, what it looks like on paper, or what it allows you to buy; you can’t buy happiness.

These are lessons I’ve forced myself to learn and re-learn throughout my life. Being injured and off work for a long time, forced me to begin applying myself to find things I found worth doing because they were meaningful instead of just easy, or comfortable. At the beginning of my experience with the injury and with workers compensation, I felt stripped of my life. In reality it had been returned to me. With nothing to do with my time aside from being miserable (of which I did plenty), it forced me to pursue things I find interesting to combat my feelings of depression; a major improvement over a dead end job. I found a way to turn this into a positive, developing more new skills and experience in new area’s than I had in the last 2yrs of my life.

In doing so, I interned with the Obama campaign which I didn’t enjoy as much as I thought I would. In the process of my campaign work I discovered a program doing writing workshops for incarcerated youth from a campaign volunteer who volunteered with them as well. Getting involved in the program made me realize how much I enjoy working with those kids we like to label as being “at risk” and I’m good at it as well.

Live Your Life With

Let Your Passion Shine Through
With passion is the only way to live your life! Everything else is irrelevant. Do what you love and love what you do.

I spent a good part of my life living with a single mother in a dysfunctional family, having little money and even less direction.  In efforts to fit in I began acting out of character for myself.  Getting in trouble, ditching class, experimenting with alcohol and other substances inevitably resulted in academic consequences.  I can remember in 9th grade we did a mock year book categories for our science class, I was voted most likely to go to jail…I think they were only half being funny….lightweight-hardcore.

That assessment hit closer to the mark than they could have thought.  I nearly didn’t graduate high school on time if at all, let alone make it into a 4 year college which had always been a personal goal of mine.  Despite feeling disappointed, and discouraged from this, I kept at it, working harder because I had to, always with my eye on the prize.

When I began Junior College, I used the new beginning as such, devoting myself to my studies and becoming active on campus.  Soon, building each goal upon another the transformation was clear.  Going from a chronic underachiever to gaining an Associates degree, and then transferring to UC Berkeley and gaining my Bachelors degree in History. As the first in my family to go to college and without anyone to really guide me ensuring I was on the right track or what to expect it was really difficult at times; but I appreciate it as a personal accomplishment so much more for it.

My growth and transformation in this process taught me a lot about myself and the limitless potential within each of us so long as we allow ourselves to believe in our ability. Its gratifying to come through the adversity in your life, reaching your goals, never losing sight of that light at the end of the tunnel. The act of re-fashioning yourself into a better person, reborn from the ashes of your mistakes and your failures is redemptive and empowering. The ability to become a phoenix resides within each of us, it just needs nourishment to flourish.

Having lost sight of this for a time despite my accomplishments; I sank back into feelings of depression and self-doubt making many of those poor decisions again.  This experience gives me a deeper appreciation for just how fine a line it is separating “I can’t” from the “I can”, and achievements from everything you were too scared to try.

Realizing this makes me understand how important it is to help others pick themselves up and dust themselves off when they have stumbled or fallen.  The ability to see and believe in your potential is a flame you must vigilantly fan and stoke in yourself and in others lest it go out; quickly striking a spark igniting it again in times its snuffed out.

Theres no doubt in my mind,  my journey is not a special one, the adversity not nearly as severe or as challenging as what inner city youth face today. Poverty and all of it’s manifestations is ugly and brutal enough here at home, let alone the rest of the world, but it was something important to me, and I did it. Having applied as a long shot, I’d already began making arrangements to go somewhere else when I found out I had been accepted.  The opportunity to go to college, and the one that I did for that matter, forever altered the course of my life with impact, in a major way.  A gift for which I”m eternally grateful.

Thinking back now, I remembering just how close I came to never experiencing any of it.  I almost never mailed in the application at all…  This makes me wonder how many others are out there at this very moment who find themselves now in  similar boat as I was then, “application packets”  hovering over the waste basket… Which in turn resolved me to share my passion for education and lifelong learning and my story as an inspiration to others, hoping to help at least one person to take that shot, even if it is an “oh what the hell, why not?” and in the dark.

As it stands now, I’ve begun the almighty litmus test of turning belief into action, interviewing soon for several programs similar to Teach for America, where I can try making an impact right out the door, as well as volunteering.

To be quite honest, I’ve never been happier or more comfortable with a decision in my life my eyes finally opened to whats important in my life, and it makes me wonder “what the hell took ya’ so long?”.
Using my story as a lesson for others, I offer up these few bits of advice

My Advice To You

  • Don’t dwell on your mistakes, treat them as transformative agents for change instead.
  • You should chase those dreams your mind is quickest to abandon or discredit;
  • Live your life happily and fully, being honest to yourself at all times, and in service of others when you’re able.
  • By doing so not only will you be happier for it, you never know how many lives you’ll touch, or people you’ll inspire.

 

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5 thoughts on “The Key To Living Your Life Happily”

  1. I enjoyed reading your post. I like your life lessons. I believe with all have potential. The difference is, is that the one’s whose flames are fanned are the ones who thrive.

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    1. I agree, we each have the same exact amount of potential going in, (and going on) to achieve “success” in life, however it is you may personally choose to define it. Surrounding yourself with people who see you for who you are and recognize your merits, even when you don’t, is the difference maker in my opinion.

      The importance of surrounding myself with the right people is probably one of the lessons that has been the hardest to come by; leaving me with way more bumps in the road than necessary. When you have people who appreciate you for who you are and believe in you, it ensures you don’t douse your own flame before it can get started, if ya know what I mean.

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  2. Excellent Post!
    It takes courage to share your personal experiences with the world, and I am glad you did. Hopefully your story will help to inspire others that are in a similar situation to the one you have faced to keep hope, and keep trying.
    You battled, but you succeeded and you should be very proud of yourself.
    🙂
    Katherine D
    IEM
    http://inspiredeverymoment.wordpress.com

    Like

    1. Thank You! for your recognition and for taking the time to comment. Yes! That is certainly my desire! If anything I share on here can provoke a thought, serve as a source of encouragement or a cautionary tale for someone else, then its mission accomplished.

      Like

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