Adjustment to Happiness

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A marathon runner once stated, “The will to win is nothing without the will to prepare.” The athlete was referring to the idea that the happiness at the end of a race cannot be achieved without putting in hard work and never giving up when the going gets tough. For example, in order to complete a marathon, runners have to get in shape and practice overcoming challenges, such as hills. Some of the obstacles are steeper than others; once over the hill, the joy of overcoming the challenge outranks the stress and anguish felt during the trial. This same notion applies to everyday life. Mortality has to be lived to its fullest at all times in order to reach the happiness at the end of life’s race. In this sense, happiness is referring to the idea of momentous times that result in an occasion of personal growth and accomplishment. As we progress through the flow of life, the moments of difficult efforts followed by novelty and discovery, we will be able to experience happiness. This is so that even when the hardships of life do not evaporate, we can still learn to push through and alter our demeanors towards never letting down during life’s trials. Therefore, a good life is adjusting to flow throughout mortality.

At times, it can be very hard to adjust to the flow life. Teenagers alone face many formidable tasks. The pressures of school, relationships, stress, and peer pressure can cause the microcosm of high school to overwhelm the students and give them one seriously powerful headache. The burdens of getting an education can seem almost too heavy to bear.

However, a man named Nietzsche once reflected, “That which does not kill you makes you stronger.” These immortal words have helped countless individuals (including myself) adjust to the flow of life. Learning to look adversity in the eye and adapt to the tough times is what flow is all about and is what strengthens us as individuals. It is a known philosophy that life was not meant to be easy, only very rewarding and worth it. Therefore, as mythologist Joseph Campbell remarks, “(The) moments that were failures, followed by wreckage, are the moments that shape our lives.” These times of hardships will be tough. Nevertheless, as seen in the story Gilgamesh, the epic hero learns that there is no permanence and that all things, good or bad, will come to an end. Now our goal is to reach the end by adjusting to flow so that the impermanent times will be the most life-enriching journeys that we will take.

For example, when I was younger I had a difficult time choosing between two excellent activities: sports or the performing arts. I had grown up participating in both of these extra-curricular events and the stress of the decision was very prominent and difficult. At long last, I chose that performing on the stage was my true passion, and so sports were demoted to the backseat. My decision did not appease my interests very long because after the fall play auditions, I was cast as a very minimal role and put on the backstage crew. I felt as if I had reached an all time low and was in the one of the deepest depths of despair. Even if it was a little overdramatic, I was not a very happy camper. In time, I came to learn from the experience and take my new knowledge into the musical auditions, in which I was cast as the lead female. It took some time, but I was able to learn that the pleasant and horrific events in my life were not permanent and mortality continued on its course. I truly was able to learn to adjust to flow and learn from it in order to experience the happiness that comes after the tough times blow over.

Furthermore, by being aware that flow is going to occur in our lives, it is important to keep a positive attitude even through the struggles. A positive countenance will allow us to adjust more easily to flow as we realize that bad times can only drag us down if we let the debacles of life keep our demeanors negative. In the Allegory of the Cave, Plato references the idea of going back into the cave when he proclaims, “Wherefore each of you, when his turn comes, must go down to the general underground abode (the cave), and get in the habit of seeing in the dark.” Plato realizes that everyone must take a turn into the dark times of life because this is how the world learns and gains knowledge and experience. By gaining experience, we are able to be happy and continue to learn. However, if a bright mood is never seen while adjusting to the darkness of the cave, the happiness when out of flow will not be nearly as meaningful and as pleasurable as potentially possible. A self-initiated positive mood is able to help along the flow of life.

In addition, the lead character in the musical, The Music Man, elaborates upon the concept of a happy countenance, even in the times of humbling ourselves to learn through hardships. When talking to Miss Marion, Professor Harold Hill enlightens her by saying, “If you pile up enough tomorrows, you’ll find you have a lot of empty yesterdays.” The professor knows that worrying about life will never accomplish the feelings of satisfaction and happiness. It takes positive spirits and novelty of discovering joy to get us out of the dark and into the warm sunshine of a brighter day. Overall, if stress and trials are all that our minds are replete with as we adjust to the flow, we will find that we have missed out on the small pleasures of life that come with a smile and the taste of happiness through positivism.

Finally, adjusting to the flow of mortality is part of the cycle of life. Going back down into Plato’s cave is an act of humility as we surrender the pride in our lives by accepting the ability to learn through the difficult experiences. As we discover the differences between light and dark, we will be able to come full circle and enjoy the happiness that Aristotle refers to in his work, “Pleasure and Happiness.” In his article he refers to the notion that even though pleasure differs from person to person, happiness can still be found through good and moral activities that are “in accordance with it proper virtue.” Therefore, when adjusting to flow, adjust so that the activities are noble and ones that will increase an individual’s growth the best. This can relate directly to me personally as well as I try to accomplish goals in life. As I participate in activities, such as my passion of musical theatre, I need to adjust my needs and wants to be in accordance with proper morals, what I personally believe is true and right. This way I can learn the most and achieve the best out of any circumstance, whether it is through school or social settings. Eventually, I can achieve perfected happiness during flow, instead of just transient pleasures that do not lead to bliss.

Overall, adjusting to flow is what can make the ideal good life. Troubles are going to bog everyone down in life. This fact is unavoidable. By adjusting to the flow of things, however, our lives will be more enriched with happiness as we strengthen ourselves to overcome trials and tribulations. By realizing there is no permanence in life, and that the cycle of flow makes us stronger, individuals are able to rise up to more challenges instead of shrinking back from the fight of life. In addition, being positive is one of the keys to tackling the ups and downs of life that make the bad times become the challenges that will allow individuals to experience the good life. Also, adjusting to flow through virtuous activities will better enlighten individuals to accomplish goals and improve the overall outlook on life. Life was never meant to be easy, but adjusting to flow is a way in which we can achieve a good life. The will to prepare and the obstacles and hills that runners have to face before a marathon are exactly the same type of adjustments and preparations that have to be made during flow in order to be happy at the end of life. As I prepare for my own obstacles, the will to win comes into play and I am able to achieve winning the race of life.





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