True happiness

TAYLOR BOYD
Staff Writer

For centuries, humans have been baffled by a phenomenon that we all experience and cherish: happiness. Many feel that happiness is composed of having the latest fashions from Chanel or Versace, or owning luxurious cars such as a Ferrari or Bugatti. Usually the general consensus of happiness revolves around having money, success, family, property and freedom.
However, some people have found happiness within their lives without having any of these things. Great world changers, such as Buddha, found happiness by letting go of material possessions and living a simple life, encouraging others to love one another and focus on the less tangible things of the world. It is possible that happiness may be more complicated than what the traditional values make it out to be.
There may be a formula for having true happiness: reality minus your expectations. This seems a little pessimistic, thinking that in order to be happy, you have to give up on your goals and what you think you deserve out of life, and just accept what reality has to offer.
In a nutshell, roll with what life gives you and you will find happiness. I feel, however, that it is possible to live life the way we want and still find meaning and happiness.
Happiness should be what you ultimately make of it. It is important to live life to the fullest and embrace it for all it has to offer. Even though there will be times where reality may seem to be too difficult to handle, that doesn’t mean we should cast out our dreams.
For example, going to Virginia Wesleyan College, or any college of that matter, was in my idea of a formula to my happiness. I understood that attending this campus would take a lot of hard work and scholarships in order to make my dream a reality. So during my high school career, I spent time trying to prepare myself academically in order to be able to have such a great opportunity to continue my education, and eventually all the hard work paid off.
Happiness has also been considered an ambiguous term, meaning that it does not have just one specific definition. We tend to overestimate the importance of life circumstances in how happy we are.
For example, sometimes we think too negatively about our lives. If we have one event that we describe as traumatic to our lives, we overlook the fact that the rest of our time we have been on this earth has not been all that bad.
Optimism should be what we all strive for in order to refrain from this cycle of thinking. I believe that having optimism will actually make you happier. Trying to look at the positive sides of things will help ease the struggles of day-to-day living.
“I feel that there is no established formula for happiness and that ultimately it’s important to think about yourself, and what you want in life” said Dr. Robert C. Woods, professor of philosophy, when asked about his idea of a formula for happiness.
I feel that just like the definition of happiness itself, there is actually no real formula to happiness and that it is up to you to decide how to live your life.

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