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Obtaining Happiness

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“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” is an intricate yet controversial quote written by president Abraham Lincoln. Seeing as he was, one of the most successful presidents throughout America’s history this statement must be true. However being the pragmatist that I am, I don’t ultimately believe it. I, like everyone else want to be happy, yet I find it difficult to grasp that our emotions and current state rely on something as simple as a thought.

Happiness is different for everyone, however is it really only obtainable by setting your mind to it? The definition of happiness, for me, is a difficult concept to grasp. I can’t differentiate whether it’s a state of mind, a lifestyle, or a byproduct of money. Yet as I grow up I start to realize that I tend to associate happiness with social society expectations. Clothes, grades, family, athletics, and friends, are just a few of the things I see myself relating happiness to. I assume that if I get straight A’s, wear nice clothes, and turn into a great athlete I will automatically just turn into a happier person. Nevertheless I do realize that although these things may make me happy for a while, it may not be what real happiness is.
If happiness is just a state of mind, then how do we achieve it? Is it by letting go of the past and moving on, or by lying to ourselves and saying that we are? Thinking about my experiences I do find some relevance to this theory. I’ve found that happiness may come from something as simple as changing your attitude. I’ve always found myself wanting what I can’t have, and in envy of others for having characteristics or things that I don’t. I realize now that I can’t continue in doing so, I can’t just sulk around wishing for things to happen to me; if I want something I have to work for it.
As I continue to live on and experience life I always find myself trying to find a balance, one where I compare the lives of the people I know. I try to understand if in some strange way our lives somehow balance out. If the rich are as happy as the poor, and if we all have our own special talents. I always see the people around me and envy how perfect they seem, but I always wonder if the happiness they feel is real; or whether they feel any happiness at all.
Happiness may only be a thought or a current state, but if it is then I know it differs for each person. I have come to the conclusion that although materialistic things that money buy, can be a temporary relief from reality, it does not provide true happiness. Which leads me to think that this theory of which happiness is a product of the mind might actually have some truth behind it.




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