The Five Simple Steps to Happiness


Cindy Teixeira, Front Page Editor (11)

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   In theory, “Five Simple Steps” should be an easy plan. Most people might skim them with optimism, thinking that by following the steps, one’s entire outlook on life will be transformed. But with any major lifestyle change, the simplicity of “Five Simple Steps” might not cover every situation as it arises. In general, happiness can only be achieved by doing what works for the individual, but the “Five Simple Steps” should be able to help nearly everybody in some small way.
   First and foremost, the basic tenet of the “Five Simple Steps” is to not rid oneself of the past, but to learn from it. One should never forget the past, but dwelling on it negatively can also affect a person’s outlook. It’s important to use the past as a lesson to be applied in future situations by looking back and thinking, “I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and I’ve learned from it.” Besides, mistakes are a natural part of life and make us who we are, right?

  A major indicator of happiness can also be immersing one’s passion into his or her lifestyle. Find out what you’re passionate about and involve that passion in your life. The everyday minutiae can tend to get boring, what with classes and tests and homework. Through incorporating work and pleasure, the more unpleasant aspects of life are easier to deal with.

  The best way of dealing with stress is to take a break from routine and live a little. On the days where the little things start to add up, do in-between the activities you like best.  Whether it’s drawing, painting, sports, dance, or making music, make sure to include them! Once you find your passion for a hobby, high school life won’t seem to pass quite so slowly.

  In a bad relationship? Run, and never look back. People have the tendency to switch between the good and bad things in a relationship but never fully take the reality check. If you think you’re in a bad relationship, it’s important to ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” or “How is this helping me?” If this means literally writing a list of pros and cons about the relationship, do so. You’d be surprised by how much stress is added to your life by a bad relationship. If it’s bringing you down in any way, stealing your happiness, stealing your time in a negative way, then there’s no reason to believe that the person will change given enough time, or the unpleasant aspects will be worth it because he/she loves you. If it hasn’t happened yet, it won’t ever happen.

  Spend some time with you and yourself only. There is no need to always have a buddy by your side constantly. Find some time to pencil “me” into your schedule. It is important to be introspective from time to time, even if other activities are pushed aside. Sometimes we just have to separate ourselves from others and take a deep breath. Whether it’s your room, a library, outside, or anywhere you feel comfortable, just find that happy place where you are most at peace. (Note to teenagers: it’s acceptable to be alone on a Friday or Saturday night.)

  Make a goal to do your best, in everything you do. Never doubt yourself, and any career, lifestyle, or relationship is attainable. Even if you try, you’re already succeeding. But simply giving up is not doing you any favors. Mark Twain once said, “In 20 years, you will be more disappointed by what you didn’t do than by what you did.”

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The Five Simple Steps to Happiness