Achieving Happiness

The pursuit of happiness is an endless path that we all find ourselves on. It’s also an undeniable right that we as human beings are entitled too along with life and liberty.

There are multiple ways that one achieves this ultimate goal of being happy. According to one source, a simple Pinterest post, there are ten things [one must] GIVE UP in exchange for happiness.

  1. Caring [about] what other people think of you.
  2. Trying to please everyone.
  3. Participating in gossip.
  4. Worrying
  5. Insecurity
  6. Taking everything personally
  7. The past
  8. Spending money on things you don’t need in an effort to buy happiness
  9. Anger
  10. Control

On the flip side, some argue that there’s more to life than being happy. More specifically, they claim, “it is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness […] Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason to be happy”.

With my own internal struggles taking over my mind, I struggle to find my own meaning of true happiness. For a great majority of my life, I simply believed it was balancing the four main corners of my life. Family, friends, academics/work, and the one individual that tugs at my heart strings. Keeping all four corners maintained,  stable, accounted for, and ironically, happy, is what I believed gave me the greatest joy. When one or more would all of suddenly become unbalanced, that’s when my happiness would slowly side. In great fury, I’d rush to absolve the situation so it’d be back in balance. Whether it be, being the first one to say sorry, making excuses for the individual, forgiving to quickly or simply just choosing to forget, any action was taken to get everything back into order. Then it’d be another waiting game, until the next disaster that throws the order off balance strikes. Wondering and walking on egg shells to try to prevent this inevitable blast that will hit again.

As I explained how I needed this stability to continue functioning, to one of my four corners ironically, two important things were pointed out. One, I was in denial and needed to face reality. They claimed will never achieve the perfect balance no matter how hard I try. Life has never worked out that way and I needed to throw that wish away. Second, no where in the equation did I, Michelle Christine Kim, exist. Everyone and everything else was the focus of my world, not the other way around. According to this individual, I should be in the middle, with everything else attached by an individual string/branch that contributes to my overall happiness. These strings aren’t permanent hence when they fail to do their job or have reached the end of their life, we as human beings are responsible for letting them go with the hope that something may replace them. Whether or not its an easy or hard choice, we are indebted to ourselves to making those cuts. Its important because their release should have very little or no impact on our well being.

This being said, I realize I have a very hard time letting go of the objects in my life give me turmoil. I consider myself a natural born fighter, hence accepting defeat isn’t something I accept so readily. Believing that I should never give up without trying, I put myself into situations where pain is endured in exchange for the little glimpse of glory even though chances of succeeding are very low. The thought that I need to start cutting strings in my life and letting go, brings me to pain and tears. Is a balanced life where everyone is accounted for really that difficult?

To me Elvis Presley says it best, “The key to happiness is: someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to”. If that’s what happiness can be, I want to ask, at what cost and what will I lose along the way? Will ever one day be at a peace of mind where I’m not worrying, insecure or trying to make everyone happy? When something in front of my eyes looks obviously so unstable, will I be ever be able to calm and not paranoid of what is to come? If happiness is about me, how come the choices I have made for myself bringing me the greatest grief?

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