Today's guest post is all about finding your own happiness. Whether you just graduated college, been punching the keys on your computer at a job for many years, or just unsure of how to find that "good place", Nicole has a plan for you! Want to submit a guest post to TTILF? I'd love that, really. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The three things that I always say I want out of life are to travel, fall in love, and be happy. I don’t know much about traveling since the furthest I’ve gone is Pennsylvania when I was 14, and I’ve never truly been in love, so unfortunately I can’t write you a story about those subjects. However, there is one I can write about, and that is happiness. So have a seat, grab your coffee, and follow along as I tell you the story of how one book inspired the creation of my journey to a happier life.
It was two weeks after my college graduation, and I was staring at an empty sheet of paper. I was supposed to writing down goals, but since I didn’t know what those were anymore, I had nothing to say. My drive to accomplish things was left in the arena that my graduation was held in, and obviously I needed it to come back sooner rather than later. Naturally, I went to find a book to help me with this issue. I almost stopped looking until I noticed “The Happiness Project” in my list of suggestions. I read the about section, and instantly spent money I didn’t have on it.
The author, Gretchen, is a lawyer turned writer who lives with her family in New York City. Sitting on a bus on one morning, she asks the same question I’ve been asking myself, “what do I want from life?” and arrives at the same answer, “happiness.” As a result, she decides to launch a yearlong happiness project, complete with twelve themes and three or four “resolutions” for each one. Gretchen also combines wisdom from philosophical leaders such as Aristotle and Benjamin Franklin and scientific research with findings from her own project to create such an amazing read. It finally gave me the momentum I needed to start my own project.
My happiness project doesn’t have a time frame. There’s no monthly themes or resolutions, and I don’t plan to do any true research on it other than maybe read a few more books of a similar theme. The project is simple: see my graduation from college as a perfect opportunity to figure out my definition of happiness and starts working towards being a person that I would like to meet. Once I figured out what I wanted my end goal to be, I didn’t have any problem getting started. My first task was creating a profile on the popular site Medium, and posting my writing pieces on there for the world to read. The positive response I’ve gotten from them is still completely surprising to me. The accomplishment led to me spending the money to launch my own website, design my resume instead of relying on a template, and go on unexpected adventures with people who inspire me to keep going with this project. They make me feel like I’m doing something right in this world, and that’s the best thing I can ask for.
The reason why I didn’t put a time frame on my project is because I’ve designed it to last a lifetime. I’ve only just begun achieving great things in my life, but even in this short time, I’ve realized that I’ll never create a solid definition of happiness. That’s the beauty of the whole concept; it changes constantly. The things that make me happy today may be completely different three or five years from now, and that’s ok. The main objective of the “game of happy” is to keep chasing, keep dreaming. The only rule is to not let it be completely tied to any imamate object or person, because those can change just as fast as your definition. Go on those random adventures that you’d never thought you’d be interested in doing, fall in love with your passion all over again, have late night conversations about life while drinking wine with people you’ll may never see again. It may all seem silly at the time, but it’s these things that help us find our happy, and that’s all we really want, right? So finish your coffee, get off your computer or phone, and start a new journey. Best of luck, and may life give you more than you’ve ever thought you wanted.
Nicole Simmons is a college graduate who is learning her way around the real world through trial and error adventures. She’s obsessed with writing, advertising, and sushi. In her spare time, she likes to read books that inspire her, and watch How I Met Your Mother reruns on Netflix with a cup of coffee.