(This is a piece I wrote when I was in high school and am presenting unedited. I think it’s interesting to look back on, even if my thoughts are a little different today. My main observation is the undeniable sense of certainty that is often found in teenagers. I was on to the secret of life and approaching full enlightenment I’m sure I thought!!! Life is not so simple young padawan…
Even with that said, there’s definitely some meat to chew on with this idea. Understanding you control your reaction to and perception of any situation is one of the most powerful tools of enlightenment I have found still to this day.)
Everything you do with your life is a choice. You choose which car to buy. You choose which person you want to spend the rest of your life with. You choose which kind of underwear to put on each morning. Why? Why do we choose any of the paths we do in life? Do I value the fuel efficiency of a hybrid or the functionality of a truck? Is the girl next door genuine enough to marry? Do boxers really feel more comfortable than briefs?
You choose the actions you do because at that point in time they seem to be the best option available to you. Even if you choose to help someone instead of yourself, inside you are rewarding yourself because helping others brings you happiness. Shouldn’t that be the ultimate goal of life, to be happy?
We as human beings seem to have mastered the art of choosing to be happy when dealing with mundane details of our lives. Which would make me happier, the hamburger or the fajitas? You simply are not going to choose the option that would make you less happy. Unless of course you take cost into account, or nutrition, or someone else’s expectations...then you might choose the less appealing meal. But wait, egad!, you have determined that spending less money, or eating healthier food, or pleasing person X would make you happier than the alternative. Perhaps you are saving for a car, or simply in debt, you may feel bad about spending excessively on food. So it should be quite clear by now that you almost invariably will choose the option that will bring the most happiness to your life.
With this knowledge in place you should have a better idea of where I am coming from with the next idea--Why not always choose to be happy? Does this truly seem too bizarre or naive to have any substance behind it? The bottom line is everything in your life is a choice and YOU have the ability to control those choices. If you genuinely want to, it is possible to choose to be happy in almost any circumstance! Crazy? ...Try ingenious. I am living testament to this idea.
The basic framework of thought began to creep into my head right in the middle of high school. For so many years I would take up and worry about school or bullies or whatever. People’s worthless cut downs would seriously hurt me mentally. School tests often gave me near seizures due to incredible high stress levels. If I found out my secret crush had no interest in me whatsoever, I was liable to go into quite a state of depression. You see where my life was headed? People in those situations are almost always doomed to lives of low self-esteem and poor confidence.
There was a turning point in my life around the age of sixteen. I began to realize that life wasn’t so bad after all. The actual turning point is irrelevant, it could be anything from reading a book to being struck by lightning. The point is my thought processes began to change. I began to question everything I had been told and started all over from square one. Among my many revelations (most of which are self-evident to any inquiring mind) was the fact that I could choose to feel a certain way, and I’m not talking about everyone’s favorite psych term “denial”. I could go from horrible sadness to pure happiness instantaneously! I could turn nervousness into excitement. Eventually, after enough time, I began to stop experiencing negative emotions very often at all. And you most certainly can too.
Andy is a curious soul with INFJ-T personality who likes to examine life closely and lives for those moments of deep revelation and spiritual connection.