Two years ago I uploaded a really cringey video on YouTube in which I talked about New Year’s Resolutions. My last resolution in the video was to “Be Happy”. I thought happiness was a goal you could reach on a specific day. That you would work really hard, have an existential crisis or two, and one day, poof, you’d be really happy. Out of the blue. Like magic. I never really thought how long the effects were supposed to last if happiness was supposed to be like a trophy you earned and ended up putting on a shelf.

You can achieve, yes. And I achieved. I keep trying to achieve. Every day, every month, every year. I look for more challenges and set more goals to keep growing and improving. But does that make me happy? Not necessarily. Of course, there’s a great satisfaction in achievements, but satisfaction does not always correspond to actual happiness.

Over the past three years, ever since ending high school, I’ve slowly learned that happiness is a life style. It’s making little choices every day to make yourself smile in the short run and the long run. For instance, you can choose to treat yourself to a pastry every once in a while, because that can make you happy in the short run. But overall, you can have a healthy diet, which will make you happy in the long run.

Am I happy now? Well, I’m definitely the happiest I’ve been in a long time. That doesn’t mean I’m at the highest peak of happiness I can reach. I still struggle most days to keep everything afloat. And life throws the occasional curve ball every once and a while (like having to move out of your flat a month before final exams in uni), so it still gets stressful. Although, I highly doubt I will ever go back to the levels of stress and anxiety I felt in high school. I will never hit rock bottom in so many aspects of life again, because I have learned and improved. That’s what keeps me so optimistic and motivated when I feel overwhelmed.

So what’s next? Keep moving forward. Keep fighting for happiness and achieving it bit by bit every day. And always remember that:

I am strong. I achieve. I am prosperous. 

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