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How to Be Happy for Yourself

Promise me this: the next time you have a major decision facing you, take the time to think about what you want.  Forget about everything and everyone else.

The fun part about life is that you get to do whatever you want with it.  Unfortunately, this fact often leads to more problems than anything else.

So many of us go to school or to work or to wherever without giving it a second thought.  Of course it’s what we need to do; you need to go to work to earn a living and you need to go to school to graduate and enter into the workforce.  We do it because we must.

But how much do we actually want to do any of it? 

Are we going through the motions just to please other people?  This comes into play much more with school than anything else.  Your parents and family went to college, so of course you must also.  Or your mom has been planning on you going to business school before you could even understand what business was, so you have to follow through.

Follow through with her dream for you.

We live our lives being conscious of the expectations people have for us.  They want us to act a certain way, to behave a certain way.  And it’s so easy to go along with it all.

None of the so-called life you’re living is worth it though if you’re not doing it for you.

Taking into consideration the opinions of the people you care about is of the utmost importance in assuring your relationships run smoothly.  More often than not any of that unsolicited life advice we get from our aunts and grandfathers and well-to-do classmates are with good intentions.  Just because the intentions are good though doesn’t mean they’re right.  And sometimes, those little gems of wisdom aren’t even offered with hopes of helping.

Sometimes people are just petty.  Or jealous.  Maybe they’re not satisfied with their own life.  Taking personal accountability and responsibility is hard work though–projecting is much easier.

Now you have to go to grad school because your mother never did.  You have to become the manager because your friends are all in leadership positions.  You have to do all these things that other people couldn’t do.  And that’s not fair to you at all.

When these people are giving their petty “well-intentioned” advice/commandments on who you are to be and what you must do, they’re not thinking about you.  They’re thinking about themselves.

These people make you feel drained when you’re around them.  You’re always walking away from your encounters feeling shitty and thinking of all the ways you’ve let them down.  Sometimes you’re convinced that they try their hardest to guilt you over the choices you make, because as unhappy with themselves as they are, pointing the blame at someone else is easier than attending to the true problem that lies within themselves.

These are not people you need in your life.

This is the point where you break away.  Because here’s the deal: you really, truly do have one life.  It belongs to you.  It is therefore yours to do what you will with it.

Your mother, your cousin, your best friend from first grade, your roommates–they all have their own lives.  They can do whatever they want with them.  When it comes to your life and your decisions, you have absolutely no one to whom you must appease… except for yourself.

Promise me this: the next time you have a major decision facing you, take the time to think about what you want.  Forget about everything and everyone else.  Be selfish for a moment.  Tune in to yourself and your own needs.  What are they telling you?  What do you really want?

Listening to the input other people provide is wise, but blindly going along with whatever they say is not.  You are your own individual.  The very best thing you can do for yourself is to continue to be yourself.  Live on your own terms and by rules you create specifically for yourself.  Identify what will make you happy and go with it… even if it means going in a completely different direction from what anyone around you is suggesting.

About the Author

Lindsey J. Gooden

Lindsey is a spooky girl and semi-goth living in Minneapolis with her handsome Taurus and baby cat, appropriately named after a demon. She is a chronic day-dreamer, imagining life as a best-selling novelist or a mortician. When she isn't reading or scribbling in her diary, she's chilling with her girlfriends, embarking on adventures, and doing her best to be the girl with the most cake. She's very shy and a lot like you, only obsessed with Trent Reznor.


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