For years, I’ve been on a one-man journey to discover the true path to happiness. The kind that always seems to appear only in the end of Silly Symphony cartoons and romcom flicks. Peers of mine search for happiness through mediums of their own, may it be through romance, job satisfaction or exploring the world around them.

I first get a glimpse of my own path to happiness through actor Josh Radnor’s 2010 independent film happythankyoumoreplease, a coming-of-age movie that has undertones of spirituality in midst of all the urban, seemingly egotistical troubles and tribulations its characters go through. Needless to say from the title the movie is one that targets to teach its audience about the importance of gratefulness, and being able to experience contentment and enjoyment with what is around you, and being able to see the light through any problems that might come in your way. But I guess at the time I just wasn’t mature enough to really understand this.

Years later, with that movie somewhat still ingrained in my mind mashed with a few more life lessons in me from my own troubles and tribulations, the main story of the film hit me like a mace slammed me at the back of my head.

After taking a gap year and beginning to work, I’ve become more thankful for the money I’m spending (and trying to save), after experiencing rejection from a lot of journals and editors I’ve become stronger and more excited for when an acceptance letter comes along. After almost moving out of our home of eight years, I’ve acquired both a silent and vocal thanking God up above for keeping me there and having kept me there for so long.

I’ve realised that gratitude, the constant thanking, appreciation and acceptance of everything around you, is a vital key to feeling fortunate and content with being who you are, which can then be a successful gateway drug to happiness. I learnt to see the world in a more positive way, and accepting the fact that life really is just how you see it; it’s not going to be one thing if you choose to see it in another way.


Seeing where you are and not where you’re not

There will come a point in your life where you will feel envy. You’ll feel envious at the fact that your brother got an A in his exam and you got a B, even though you both studied at the same times and with the same level of energy. You’ll feel jealous at the fact that your friend got himself a new car while you’re still trudging through the tube every morning.

Envy and jealousy, as poisonous as they can be, are all normal human emotions and without them, we would be without one piece that makes us human. It’s how we deal with them and how we conquer them that matters.

If you choose to believe that everything that is happening to you is for the better and that everything you’re working towards will come to you in its own time, instead of complaining about where you’re not and what you’re not doing, you’re putting out positive energy that can work to your advantage and ensure you tomorrows full of looking forward to doing things that only you can do.

Seeing what you have and not what you don’t

Material possessions are always considered a gateway to be led astray from the self and what really matters, but I always believe everything should be done in moderation, and when this is put into action, doing things like shopping or collecting material items can be okay. Heck, I’m one book hoarder myself!

But always remember that once all these things start to change your perspective on life and it begins to have a negative effect on relationships with others and yourself, you have to admit that there’s a problem growing that you need to destroy as soon as possible, for material items are only used for support and for pleasure, not for the sake of ego and to alleviate ourselves from perceptions of “lower statuses” and inferiority”.

Sometimes being void of materialism can be cleansing for the self and can help you think clearer of what’s really important.

Seeing who’s with you and not who you’re without

Opening your eyes to see who’s there when you fall and who’s not when the going gets tough is important. Always remember who’s worth helping and who’s better off without you a part of their lives and vice versa. It’s unnecessary and unproductive to bother with people who don’t help you grow in any positive way.

There’s no need to dwell too much on the past and the what ifs; a breakup or a falling out might be bitter to the taste now, but sooner or later you’ll find out that without going through losing people you perceive to be irreplaceable. You lose good people so that they can be replaced by better people, someone once told me.

And if that line doesn’t work, the old saying is just as true, “don’t worry about people from your past, there’s a reason why they didn’t make it to your future.”


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