Happiness for the Taking

When we were kids, we had to play by the rules. If our parents, guardians, or anyone who was old enough to be a parent or a guardian told us to do something, we had to do it. Sometimes we liked the things we were told to do…

If you liked playing basketball, and your parents told you that you could play basketball after school then you were probably a happy kid.

Or if you liked watching TV, and your guardians let you watch TV after you finished your homework then you were probably a happy kid.

And if you liked eating macaroni and cheese and every time you went over to friend’s house you got to eat macaroni and cheese then you were probably a happy kid.

Other times, however, we had to do things that the adults in our lives made us do even though we didn’t want to…

If your parents forced you to take piano lessons even though you didn’t enjoy playing the piano then you probably weren’t very happy doing that.

Or if your guardians made you watch your younger sibling while they were out of the house and you didn’t like to do that then chances are that you weren’t very happy when you had to do that.

And if you had to eat hotdogs every time that you went to your friend’s house even though you didn’t like hotdogs then you probably weren’t very happy when you had to eat that.

We didn’t have a choice when we were kids. We had to listen or we would get in to trouble. We followed the rules they set in place without thinking because that’s what we were supposed to do. However, as we got older, some of the things that we did didn’t seem to make much sense. If you didn’t like taking piano lessons then you shouldn’t have to. After all, taking piano lessons when you didn’t want to wasn’t going to make you a better person. It wouldn’t be the end of the world if you didn’t keep taking the lessons, so you might have told your parents that you didn’t want to do it anymore. If it really was causing you to be unhappy then your parents would have let you stop taking those lessons because, at the end of the day, all any parent wants is for their children to be happy.

When you’re younger, your parents have you do certain things because they don’t want to just limit you to a few experiences. They want you to try and find something that you’re going to enjoy, but many times when you’re younger you don’t always know what you want. A three year old is going to want to eat sweets all day instead of healthy food, but, as an adult, you know that that would be a bad thing because they would end up physically sick if they ate nothing but candy. And a five year old may want to stay at home all day instead of going to school, but you know that they need to learn how to do things like reading and writing if they’re going to have a chance to succeed in life. Kids make rash decisions because they’re young and inexperienced, and your parents were there to help you not make those kinds of decision that weren’t well thought out. But, once you’re old enough to find out what makes you happy and once you can pick something(s) that you really want to do, your parents loosen the reigns so that you can make that decision for yourself about your own happiness.

Positive thinker, happiness is up to you now. If playing the piano is going to bring you the most happiness then go out and play the piano. But if the piano isn’t going to make you happy, then you don’t have to play it. Play it or don’t play it. The only thing that matters now is that the steps that you’re taking are steps that are going to lead you to gain the most happiness from this life that you’re living. One of the benefits of being an adult is that you get to write your own destiny. No one is there to tell you what to do. Happiness is within your reach. All you have to do is stick out your hands and take it!

And always remember, “Be happy. Be yourself. If others don’t like it, then let them be. Happiness is a choice. Life isn’t about pleasing everybody.”

The sky’s the limit!

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