Choosing the Right Path

Happiness is a universal solution to a large amount of our problems, and is often overlooked for “more important things”. I believe this to be an incredibly detrimental problem to mine and future generations, as mood affects all the important aspects of human life. Time after time I’ve reflected on my decisions, attempting to evaluate whether a choice I made was the right one. From my experiences, there are generally two paths people can take.

The first path values gains over happiness. An opportunity presents itself where a person can be asocial or benefit from money with an absence of fulfillment. One friend will ask if I want to take a relaxing stroll around the park, while another asks if I can move several heavy rocks for fifty dollars. In this mindset I would choose the latter, accumulating what many think is the most valuable thing to them: wealth. Doing this frequently results in an unhealthy lifestyle, and is absolutely not how our species is meant to live.

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That being said, most are guilty of choosing this path anyway.

Along comes the second path. This time instead of money I choose the walk. There are a plethora of positive results that could exist solely because I chose to be recreational. My instinctual social need is sated, my mind is refreshed from surrounding myself with nature, and quite possibly I have met a new person. A friend three years ago, for example, asked if I could go with him to the local pool. I went instead of making up a usual excuse, and happened to meet someone who changed my life in too many ways to count. Today I am smarter, more socially confident, optimistic, and happier because I met this person. At the time I could have stayed home learned interesting things on the History Channel. In retrospect, it would have been a cataclysmic mistake. That is the mistake that is hurting our society.

Why do people continually make the mistake of sitting idle or pursuing money when true happiness is just around the corner? There are a lot of reasons. For one, it’s an easy choice to make because either money is involved or you don’t have to do anything. Second, very little can go wrong by choosing to sit out on an opportunity. Where our society goes wrong is the common mentality of valuing regularity and routine over exhilaration and excitement. Always staying inside a comfort zone can promote a boring or even unhappy life style.

Unfortunately my generation and future generations may fall victim to mediocrity when there exists so much potential for happiness. While it’s okay to take the easier of the paths, only taking it eliminates risk as well as promise. Living by this idea has reaped me countless benefits, the biggest of which is a stress-free lifestyle complete with very little problems. Without stress, I’m able to positively influence those around me constantly and attempt to bring helpful advice. Imagine if every generation after mine found true happiness. How different this world would be.

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