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This crazy thing called Life…

on April 4, 2013

No one is naturally good at anything, it takes dedication, motivation, lots of time and generally years of practice. Nothing you do the first time will necessarily work out or even be slightly near perfect. Those that succeed are those that pick themselves up when they have been knocked to the ground over and over again.

What is remarkable though is the willpower of these people and what drives them to succeed or take that extra step to pick one foot up allowing them to stand and get them that tiniest bit closer to achieving their goal. Whether it is to make a new friend or make someone smile, learn a different skill, start a new job; there is always something behind that, some drive that will allow them to succeed. For some people it may be as simple as getting a smile or a text back, having that sense of achievement and pride when you complete something or understand a concept. It may not just be a qualification that be achieved, you may have achieved having a good day if previous ones have been average, seeing a smile on someone’s face, achieving a fitness goal or finishing a painting, a story or poem. You can achieve pretty much anything and I guess you don’t need a piece of paper to prove this.

Although some people may know where they are going when they finish high school and have great aspirations of going to uni to get their first bachelor, or working their way up to get their dream job. They all would have started somewhere. It may have been a job that one of their parents does that interests them or maybe does the opposite makes them not want to pursue that career or “be like them” so to speak, it could be a hobby that they want to make a career out of, subjects that they enjoy at school or even just one of those primary school career aspirations of “I want to be a nurse” or “I want to go into space”. It could also be family/parent aspirations that they want their child to be the stereotypical doctor or nurse, or some other stupid high paying job.

However, one of the greatest mistakes that parents as well as teachers have made is how to appreciate what we have, the small things that matter the most. They are too busy barking orders or feeding us mindless information and how important good grades are and that ideally you have to go to university to be happy and successful, instead of telling you how to be happy. They don’t teach you what to do when school is over, when that safety guard of teachers, friends and routine gets taken away from you, they don’t teach you how to be resilient, to cope when you get knocked down or go to plan. They don’t teach you that some of the most important things in life don’t need to be materialistic. I’ve been taught how these ‘materialistic’ things shape who we are and how we are so strongly influenced by them and that they “shape” us, instead of telling us to put that silly iphone or ipod away and enjoy what you have around you, that money does not generally mean everything will be perfect. They don’t tell you how to enjoy the little things in life that I guess majority of us take for granted.

What I am talking about are the things like our friends or our family, simple things like having food or shelter and not struggling in those aspects. They don’t teach us some of the most valuable things that we have. The things that aren’t materialistic. Some of the most important things are felt, you can sometimes see them, touch them, talk to them, your friends and family. Nothing else in this world is going to love you, care about you, listen to you, help you or support you. Materialistic things like your telephone wont support you, give you a hug when you are in tears, tell you everything will be ok and that you just need to be strong, a phone does not do that, neither does a computer or your car. If you think about it though, what is one of the main reasons the telephone is used? To communicate and to keep in touch with those loved ones, to tell them that you love them, that you are thinking about them, that you still care. So why are not taught that we can’t take them for granted? Why are we not taught that if we don’t have school or work that these are the most important and valuable asset to us? I mean that heartache that so many people experience when a loved one is taken away from us is immense. Who knows when your friends’ circumstances are going to change or something tragic is going to happen and for you to wake up that morning only to be told that they aren’t going to be coming back or that they don’t care about you as much as you did them. I think that we realise to some extent how much we care about our friends and family but in a way I don’t think that we understand what it would be like for one of them to get taken away from us.

Way too much time is wasted drilling into kids heads about how work and study should rule your life and that is the key to happiness, it really isn’t. it is something that needs to be taught and explored. The concept of being happy should be explored, how the most important key to happiness is in front of our noses. Doing simple things like watching a movie, catching up with friends, going for a walk in the park or watching the sunset from a rooftop. The simple things in life will generally make you the happiest.  alone doesn’t necessarily make you happy, yes you may enjoy your job, what you do and it gives you a sense of pride but it also takes you away from your family (and don’t give me the whole but we need it to get by so we have to work bullshit) it also puts unnecessary pressure and stress on people, it can make you tired, stressed or grumpy. It sometimes makes us question if we are even doing the right thing. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t work or that work is bad, because it is something that every single one of needs to do unless you are one of those lucky ladies that finds this rich husband and stays at home being a good little housewife.

In saying all of that what does make you happy? I have laid down what I think should make a person happy but what do others say? What is the ideal key to happiness? Does this even exist?

I found one website where they refer to happiness as being like a master key, it is unique for every individual, what drives one person and makes them happy may be completely different to someone else. This master key is made up of different elements. It says that element one is your work life, it says that to be completely happy with your life you have to have a job that interests you or one that you love and are very passionate about. If you are happy about this aspect then it would spread over to other aspects of your life and possibly your friends and family. They also mention that you should not choose a job based on how much it pays or the class of it but more so for the pure enjoyment of it. The second aspect that they talk about is contentment; this means that you are fully happy and content with every single one of your choices from who your friends are, even your earnings and to not compare your position to anybody else. This is fully unique and it is something that you should be proud of. The third and final element that will make up your master key is to count your blessings, this sounds very god like I know but it isn’t its purely about being content about what you already have and not be sad or unhappy because you do not have something. (http://www.happiness.com.au/key-to-happiness.html)

Another website that I came across was talking about Zen and the art of happiness. This person refers once again to three aspects of happiness; they take into account happiness on a spiritual, emotional and physical level. When someone is spiritually happy they are referred to being content, having a peace of mind and they are often worry-free. When they referred to someone as being emotionally happy they are excited and things are going to plan, and physical happiness, well this speaks for itself when you are happy with the way that you look or being comfortable with yourself. Even though these are three separate layers they often intertwine and affect one another, this is where the Zen meditation or zazen comes in. During this meditation it is said that an individual will experience the ultimate acceptance and harmony of all three layers. They also say that even though someone may not be fully content with one or more of these layers they will find happiness everywhere. It can be found in our homes, our workplace, people we meet and talk to, pretty much everywhere and anywhere. What I found most interesting about reading this article is that they say that true happiness comes from within and if this happiness is built up and strong it can withstand a whole lot of trouble. They also agree with my thoughts saying that materialistic things only give a temporary happiness and that the best things in life are free. Another comment that they made that I found relevant and that I really liked was that you share your happiness by being satisfied with what you have. (http://www.positivethinkingnow.com/category/happiness/)

You are probably wondering why im ranting and raving about this, well I guess I keep on going around and round in circles with it, like the topic of happiness, what actually makes you happy an why I am feeling the way I am. In a way I am a worrier. I worry about big things and little pointless things, or I fail to understand and accept that people around me have things they need to do and that I have to be positive and supportive of that instead of just living in a massive ‘me’ bubble.

I never used to think everything was just about me, I was always very concerned about everyone else and making sure they were alright, I guess in a way I forgot to make sure I was. I went through a stage well to be honest I think I am still in it, where I felt that nobody cared about me about my situation, or what I was going through, I mean at that point I was struggling with what was my version of the end of the world. I had gotten really sick after getting my tonsils out and had a very prolonged recovery that made me very fatigued and like I did not want to do anything. I had my tonsils out then two weeks later went back to having 8am-5pm days at uni and working all weekend, so my only time to rest would have been that two weeks before uni, unfortunately that made me come to my decision to withdraw from my uni course. Well I guess it just gave me a reason TO withdraw from it, I absolutely hated it, I hated the study, the lectures, the tutorials, I genuinely didn’t like it, so I found being sick was my outlet to getting out of there. Before I decided to leave my uni course, move on to bigger and better things so to speak I quit my part time job. I was there for four years and I guess I had gotten really over it, so I quit.

I don’t regret either of those decisions I guess what I do regret is that I’ve had to wait until the last week of November to get back into doing something, so it was say a good 2/3 months of doing nothing. It did my head in so much, everyone around me was making steps thinking about their future and at that stage all I was being told to do was rest, I didn’t want to rest I wanted to be moving forwards like everyone else. For me working and school or studying meant the world to me, I got so caught up in doing that, I became very angry and defensive to those around me, I kept on putting myself down saying that I’m hopeless and that I couldn’t do anything, so I guess I developed a very negative attitude on everything. I wanted to somehow get myself out of this rut but I couldn’t, I had happy days but I wasn’t happy overall and it definitely showed and affected so many people around me.

It was only recently that someone very very close to me said “I’m sick of it, I’m sick of you writing yourself off as useless” I guess that night made me start writing about this and I just haven’t stopped, it’s made me question what I am even doing and how I was treating everyone around me, so when I wasn’t so upset, in tears or worked up about it I got into our conversations and I read over them, this is when I realised that what I was doing was so unfair and very stupid. I was treating everyone around me unfairly and I finally woke up to myself and said that it had to stop. I had to stop venting to everyone around me, I had to stop thinking that it was the end of the world, accept the fact that I couldn’t control what had actually gone on this year. I wasn’t to know that I wouldn’t like uni, I mean it is a massive step from school and I was so hesitant going into my course to begin with, I wasn’t to know that I wasn’t going to recover from the surgery as well as I should have and that I would have had this three months off. The things that I was worrying about I couldn’t control, I guess I’ve finally realised that. I wasn’t focusing on those people around me that did make me happy, feel special and amazing instead  I was focusing on how I wasn’t in school, how everything was so different to school, how I wasn’t working or studying or anything like that, it made me so negative, I hated pretty much everything and was nowhere near happy. I can’t say that right now things are even close to being perfect or being as I hope, but hopefully someday soon they will be.

 

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