Free «Happiness» Essay


Margaret Lee Rumback once said, “Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” I totally agree with these words that are so relevant in the modern world. I know many people who expect to become happy at some point of their life. Some of them wait until they graduate from school, start adult life and finally become happy. Some of them think they will become happy after they find the job of their dream and start earning money. Others believe they will find happiness when they get married and find their life mate. Nevertheless, happiness is not a state to arrive at, it is not a static position one may hold. Furthermore, people can contribute to their happiness every day. This truth dawned on me several years ago when I finally overcame my shyness.

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As long as I remember myself, I always was shy and introverted. I did not like to talk to strangers and was afraid of going out without family. I recall my first day in school that was a disaster. My parents brought me to the classroom and said they would come back soon. “No! Please do not leave me! I cannot sit here alone!” I shouted to my mother. She looked at me calmly and said, “Do not worry son, you are not alone. Look, there are so many kids here.” “But I do not know any of them,” I replied. “Well, you are going to know them all soon,” I heard. “Have fun.” Then my parents just left me in this strange school reality. I actually felt like an alien there and could not do anything about it. Next, I saw one girl smiling at me. I did not know who she was and why she smiled. Did she think I was funny or maybe I looked stupid? In any case, I decided not to talk to any of my classmates neither on that day nor any of the following days.

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Nonetheless, I paid a high price for that decision. I saw how children communicated and how they made friends. I missed that chance, and it seemed as nothing could change it. Consequently, I have always thought that my shyness hindered my happiness and determined a lot in my life. First, I thought that people were prejudiced against me and stuck a label of “goody-goody” on me. I believed I could be so much popular if I were friendlier. I imagined how girls would treat me a look at me if I were not shy. I thought I would become more attractive and popular among the peers if I were confident and extroverted. Finally, it became a usual activity for me to compare myself with other boys and find myself to be a looser. Second, I believed that my introversion influenced the attitude of the teachers to me. I assumed they were unfair to me and thought I had nothing to say in the classroom. Basically, I thought shyness was my worst enemy and the main cause of all my misery.

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Therefore, one day, I decided to do something about it. I got all my strength together and changed my attitude to the problem. First, I stopped comparing myself with others. I concentrated on my strong sides instead. My friends have always told me how they appreciated my sense of humor, but I did not listen to it. Now, I decided to benefit from it. Thus, I took a risk and joined the drama circle when I was in the sixth grade. The drama circle at our school used to stage different comedies and humoristic scenes. Quite unexpectedly, it became the turning point of my life. There, I learned how to act and transform into various characters. I realized that if I am not sociable, I can play a sociable person at least to pretend to be such. Besides, I found new friends there, and all of them supported me. Participation in a drama circle unnoticeably transformed me into a different person. I learned how to communicate better and became more self-confident than before. After my first performance, my classmates saw me in a new light, and no one of them ever called me “goody-goody.” From then on, I believed that everything would change and I will finally be happy.

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However, nothing changed as much as I expected. Even when I overcame my shyness, my grades did not improve. I did not get more popularity because of it. The attitude of my peers did not change in general. So, what actually changed? The answer was – my attitude. When I realized it, my happiness disappeared. I realized that I did not need to pretend being someone I am not to become happy. While I was so obsessed with my shyness, I ignored other important things. I could not concentrate on my academic performance; I did not take risks and did not do enough to maintain positive relationships with others. When I realized it, I reevaluated my life and noticed what really mattered. I saw that people appreciate one’s personality even when he or she is shy. I understood that happiness is not permanent, and it does not stay when I do nothing further. I recognized that “Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling”. I realized that there is so much to do ahead.

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Finally, I understood that happiness consists of some moments that we experience in everyday life. We do not have to wait for some point to become happy. I was a mistake to think that when I overcome my shyness, I will instantly become happy. Happiness is not achieved in one day; it is the way we behave every day. It depends on us, not the outward conditions. Happiness does not depend on popularity, education, or other things. It is in our head, it is the state of our mind. It is our everyday choice to be happy or not to be happy. It took time for me to come at this conclusion, but now I know that I can be happy anytime while enjoying what I am doing.

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