Finding Happiness

Written December 9, 2016

I’m sure most of you have heard any of these quotes or something like them…

“I want my kids to have a better life than we did”, “Study well, work hard and you’ll achieve your dreams”, or “Study hard to achieve your goals”.

These types of things have been said to kids for generations. For the most part they were right. If you studied well, got good grades in both high school and college, and you worked hard at an entry level position in your career choice, you could achieve your dreams and goals in life. Those dreams and goals were usually having a house, and a family. Our parents who wanted us to have a better way of life didn’t, and still don’t, know precisely what that better way is. For some that better way is a better job with more money. If your parents didn’t have a good marriage, they want that for you. It may even be a better home in a better neighborhood. Aka the American Dream.

There are no play books or owner’s manuals that come with children when they’re born that map of a child’s life. Yes, there are plenty of books, magazines and internet sites that can guide parents on raising a child, but how many of you have read them, tried to apply the guidance to your own child and get frustrated because your child is not behaving like any of the models? The problem is that kids, messy as they are, are not all the same. What works for one child may not work for another.I bet at least a couple of you have…then you threw that information in the trash and did what you thought was best. I bet your parents felt the same way except the older your parents are the fewer resources and talked to other parents.

The only problem with saying that for kids, since roughly 1995, many businesses and factories closed down. This, in this writer’s mind, was the first signs of the Great Recession. Along with these places closing came economic hardship for many Americans. So the old saying about studying well and working hard was no longer true. Plans to go college, graduate with a degree and get a good job soon after graduation are more like disappointments these days.

“So are you saying the American Dream doesn’t exist? Does this mean I’ll be stuck at a dead end job and never be happy?” Despite the state of economy and the job market today, one can still find happiness and success. While the definitions of those 2 words may need to change a bit, happiness and success are still possible.

Look at the following quotes about success:

1. “A Dream doesn’t become reality thru magic, it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”

2. “Success is no accident, it is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”

3. “We need to be united, and we all need to understand that we’re all capable of achieving the American dream. And that has to be something that is self-realized. Also, to demonize someone for achieving the American dream is unfair.”

The first one is from a couple of a highly decorated and respected American General and statesman, the 2nd one is from a retired world famous soccer(football in his native country) player, and the 3rd is from an actress who is loved by some and hated by others because she’s very vocal about her political views. The one thing each of them have in common? They each started their careers from humble beginnings. Each of them failed and succeeded not once, not twice, but several times but instead of throwing in the towel each of them put on their big kid panties and kept trying. Their original goals may not have originally been a general, a soccer player or an actress, but to succeed and find their happiness they changed things around and persevered thru tough times and celebrated their triumphs. These are by no means the only famous people who started from humble beginnings. There are many more just like them.

Thought for the day: We all stumble and fall at some point in our lives. Instead of staying down, remember, “Tis a lesson you should heed: Try, try, try again. If at first you don’t succeed, Try, try, try again”. ~William Hickson

By the way, the authors of those quotes in order are 1) Colin Powell, 2) Pele, and 3) Stacey Dash

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