Positive outlook, friends contribute to overall happiness

Maddie Jewett, Features Editor

This summer, I read the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.
She wrote this book about her experiences while trying to become “happy.”
The author felt she was just going through the motions in life, and was not genuinely happy. In order to change this, she chose specific parts of her life that she thought needed modifying. These categories included patience and acceptance.
By the end of the book, Rubin has transformed into a much happier person.
After reading the book, I asked myself, “What exactly is happiness? Am I genuinely happy with my life?”
People throughout history have tried to pinpoint a single thing that happiness is, but in reality, it can mean different things for everyone.
For some, happiness is seeing their newborn baby for the first time.
For others, happiness is getting that job that they’ve worked their whole lives for.
People often spend their whole lives searching for happiness.
Honestly, they are wasting their time.
While reading The Happiness Project, I realized happiness isn’t one achievement or one big moment in our lives — it is our attitude towards life itself.
I am a firm believer that the people we surround ourselves with have a huge impact on our happiness.
In my life, my friends and family are my rock.
They can make me smile and laugh through practically any situation. In short, they are my happiness.
Do the people you surround yourself with make you feel this way?
If not, some adjusting in your friend group may be necessary.
Another way to create happiness for ourselves is to make those around us happy.
One quick smile at a passerby in a hallway at school can create minutes of happiness for both of you.
Telling someone you like their hair or any other kind of genuine compliment can also have the same effect.
I find happiness in other people’s happiness; therefore, I chose to surround myself with positive, uplifting people.
As far as our attitudes towards situations go, in order to be happy, we must take a “glass half-full” approach.
Bad things will happen to all of us at some point in our life — it’s inevitable.
But it’s how we deal with these situations and how we change our attitude towards them that dictate our level of happiness at any given time.
As self-help author and motivational speaker Brian Tracy once said, “You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude towards what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.”
By letting the bad things go and focusing solely on the good, we are bound to be happy.
To me, this quote very closely sums up what happiness is: “Happy are they who take life day by day, complain very little and are thankful for the little things in life.”