Happiness as a Skill: Considering Your Actions and Decisions to Be Happy Where You Are Right Now

I will begin with a completely honest and true statement: I don’t love college. I don’t actually even like it. I find myself thinking, “I’m not happy here.”  In high school I promised myself that I would finally be happy in college. That I would be studying things that I am passionate about, that I would find people who share those passions, that I would finally surround myself with a glorious realm of  people who “get me.” But it is not that easy. It is easy, however, to believe and say, “I will be happy when..., I will be happy if…” Yet what kind of life is that, to constantly be denying yourself happiness while time continues to fly by?

Some say happiness is a journey, not a destination. That is a good way of thinking of it. In conjunction, I like to consider happiness as a skill. Finding the things, practices, and choices that bring joy to the moment.That’s a big key right there: living one moment at a time. A great deal of maturing is the process of learning about yourself; what you care about (not necessarily your “passion”) what relaxes you, and what makes you smile. Women acquire skills with maturity. Happiness is a skill because it takes experience and learning. It also makes other aspects of life quite easier.

I cannot identify a time in my life when I was constantly unhappy. Nor can I identify a period when I was constantly happy. Therefore, it is not, and never will be, a constant state. With this understanding the pressure to be a “happy person” is relieved. Because that person doesn’t exist. It is similar to realizing perfection doesn’t exist. So for one, Don’t be so hard on yourself. Happiness looks different for everyone and it is held at the core of our being. The skill is in recognizing the sweet moments of joy, acknowledging what created them, and holding on to them. It is often the simple things.

Finally,  I would like to share some of the wisdom of my grandmother. Nancy believes that anyone can be happy anywhere with any job. This is rather difficult for me to accept. Certain situations, at work or in school or at home, can make life really hard, and how can you negate that?  Yet I interpret this with these notes: 1. You are not doomed to stay in a place or a job that you do not like. 2. It takes faith and work at the same time.