Happiness is one aspiration all people share

No one wants to be sad and depressed.

1. Appreciate Life
Be thankful that you woke up alive each morning. Develop a childlike sense of wonder towards life. Focus on the beauty of every living thing. Make the most of each day. Don’t take anything for granted. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

2. Choose Friends Wisely
Surround yourself with happy, positive people who share your values and goals. Friends that have the same ethics as you will encourage you to achieve your dreams. They help you to feel good about yourself. They are there to lend a helping hand when needed.

3. Be Considerate
Accept others for who they are as well as where they are in life. Respect them for who they are. Touch them with a kind and generous spirit. Help when you are able, without trying to change the other person. Try to brighten the day of everyone you come into contact with.

4. Learn Continuously
Keep up to date with the latest news regarding your career and hobbies. Try new and daring things that has sparked your interest – such as dancing, skiing, surfing or sky-diving.

5. Creative Problem Solving
Don’t wallow in self-pity. As soon as you face a challenge get busy finding a solution. Don’t let the set backs affect your mood, instead see each new obstacle you face as an opportunity to make a positive change. Learn to trust your gut instincts – it’s almost always right.

6. Do What You Love
Some statistics show that 80% of people dislike their jobs! No wonder there’s so many unhappy people running around. We spend a great deal of our life working. Choose a career that you enjoy – the extra money of a job you detest isn’t worth it. Make time to enjoy your hobbies and pursue special interests.

7. Enjoy Life
Take the time to see the beauty around you. There’s more to life than work. Take time to smell the roses, watch a sunset or sunrise with a loved one, take a walk along the seashore, hike in the woods etc. Learn to live in the present moment and cherish it. Don’t live in the past or the future.

8. Laugh
Don’t take yourself – or life to seriously. You can find humor in just about any situation. Laugh at yourself – no one’s perfect. When appropriate laugh and make light of the circumstances. (Naturally there are times that you should be serious as it would be improper to laugh.)

9. Forgive
Holding a grudge will hurt no one but you. Forgive others for your own peace of mind. When you make a mistake – own up to it – learn from it – and FORGIVE yourself.

10. Gratitude
Develop an attitude of gratitude. Count your blessings; All of them – even the things that seem trivial. Be grateful for your home, your work and most importantly your family and friends. Take the time to tell them that you are happy they are in your life.

11. Invest in Relationships
Always make sure your loved ones know you love them even in times of conflict. Nurture and grow your relationships with your family and friends by making the time to spend with them. Don’t break your promises to them. Be supportive.

12. Keep Your Word
Honesty is the best policy. Every action and decision you make should be based on honesty. Be honest with yourself and with your loved ones.

13. Meditate
Meditation gives your very active brain a rest. When it’s rested you will have more energy and function at a higher level. Types of meditation include yoga, hypnosis, relaxation tapes, affirmations, visualization or just sitting in complete silence. Find something you enjoy and make the time to practice daily.

14. Mind Your Own Business
Concentrate on creating your life the way you want it. Take care of you and your family. Don’t get overly concerned with what other people are doing or saying. Don’t get caught up with gossip or name calling. Don’t judge. Everyone has a right to live their own life the way they want to – including you.

15. Optimism
See the glass as half full. Find the positive side of any given situation. It’s there – even though it may be hard to find. Know that everything happens for a reason, even though you may never know what the reason is. Steer clear of negative thoughts. If a negative thought creeps in – replace it with a positive thought.

16. Love Unconditionally
Accept others for who they are. You don’t put limitations on your love. Even though you may not always like the actions of your loved ones – you continue to love them.

17. Persistence
Never give up. Face each new challenge with the attitude that it will bring you one step closer to your goal. You will never fail, as long as you never give up. Focus on what you want, learn the required skills, make a plan to succeed and take action. We are always happiest while pursuing something of value to us.

18. Be Proactive
Accept what can not be changed. Happy people don’t waste energy on circumstances beyond their control. Accept your limitations as a human being. Determine how you can take control by creating the outcome you desire – rather than waiting to respond.

19. Self Care
Take care of your mind, body and health. Get regular medical check ups. Eat healthy and work out. Get plenty of rest. Drink lots of water. Exercise your mind by continually energizing it with interesting and exciting challenges.

20. Self Confidence
Don’t try to be someone that you’re not. After all no one likes a phony. Determine who you are in the inside – your own personal likes and dislikes. Be confident in who you are. Do the best you can and don’t second guess yourself.

21. Take Responsibility
Happy people know and understand that they are 100% responsible for their life. They take responsibility for their moods, attitude, thoughts, feelings, actions and words. They are the first to admit when they’ve made a mistake.

Begin today by taking responsibility for your happiness. Work on developing these habits as you own. The more you incorporate the above habits into your daily lifestyle – the happier you will be.
Most of all: BE TRUE TO YOURSELF.

Ultimate happiness is tricky

Ultimate happiness is a tricky mistress, always hanging just around the corner with promising smiles

Happiness exists in your mind rather than in materialistic possession.
Happiness does not come from a state, but from a change of state.
Happiness does not come from the prize, but in the process of attaining that prize. It’s a journey, not a destination.Our boredom is our ecstasy.If you can appreciate each passing moment as a blissful step towards your next plateau, lasting happiness is yours.
The secret lies in being able to remain content with each passing moment while keeping our eyes on the next.
If you can live comfortably within this, you live in heaven on Earth.

Oh it’s delicious, this thing called life. It’s a delicious experience, no? Are you not allowed to experience everything? The tears, the joy, the pain,the gladness, the exaltation, the massive depression, the win, the loss the draw? What more is there?

1) VisualizeSee yourself getting being successful with that company or getting that girl. Feel the pure bliss that you would experience as if it were actually happening. The more you do this, the more vivid and real-feeling your sessions will get. By visualizing your desires, you are communicating them directly to your subconscious.You’ll feel as if you’re living the dream.

2) Watch Tyler Durden’s Speech From Fight Club(Highly recommended)-
Brad Pitt’s character in Fight Club has some very truthful and eye-opening things to say about society. This might not be the perfect cure for your particular sentiment, but it will certainly jumpstart a lot of people out of their slump. Best line: “You are not your f&*king khakis.”

3) Try to live in the present.
Complication in life often arises because we are worrying and planning about the future. We can become so concerned about what may happen tomorrow or next year that we forget to enjoy the present moment or rather we carry too much burden & melancholic memories from the past slowing decaying our soul. To have one’s focus on the present and now, is to encompass life as it is supposed to be.

4) Less Planning and Thinking
When we complicate life through our endless planning we bring tomorrow’s problems into today. Yet it is always worth remembering that our worries and fears about the future often prove to be futile.

5) Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities!- Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.Believe in yourself through tough times. Believe in your capacity to succeed. Believe that your relationships are worth the effort. Believe in your intuition, especially when you have to choose between two good paths. Believe that it’s all worth your while and after all we have a great thing within us- HOPE and as said by Mr. Dufrensey- ”Hope is a good thing infact best of the things and no good thing ever dies ”

And remember little things do bring great differences to our lives. here is one of my answer comprising of those little things that can make you feel alive.

1) Stick your body out of a sunroof while the car is driving- Ever wondered why a dog sticks his head out of a car window, only a biker knows that. This one is a lot of fun. If you don’t have a sunroof, a window works just as well. High speed makes the experience much more invigorating.Remember Emma Watson from the ”The Perks of Being a Wallflower”

2) Blast your favorite badass songMy favorite are ”Paradise by Coldplay” and ”Good Life by One Republic”.If the coffee mug on your table isn’t shaking then you’re not blasting it enough.

3) Do something outside of your comfort zone– Amazing things happens once you’re out of your comfort zone. Surely you can find something in this, keep your imagination going.

4) Destroy something– Take out some frustrations on an inanimate object but not a costly one though.

5) Realize that you are ALIVE!– You have years and years of potential ahead of you. If you feel dead today, consider what stupendous things you could be doing tomorrow.

6) Go experience nature– Being outside just feels amazing, visit the most surreal & exotic places, meet people, hear them, learn their traditions, experience the varying cultures. Given a choice I would like to visit all the vineyards in the world and taste all the astonishing wines.

7) Watch the Sunset– The moment when sun starts receding but the darkness hasn’t taken over yet, believe me at that moment all the magic happens and you can’t deny that. So much refreshing.

8) Scare yourself– Have a feel of adrenaline. Acrophobia, go on the hilltop and check out whether it still freaks you out.

9) Exercise and Meditate
   
10) Scream at the top of your lungs- Remember Jack Dawson from Titanic screaming from the ship’s railing, so scream out right now, right there and yes you’re the king of the world.

11) Get to know a stranger- Truly connect with another human being. Skip the small talk and ask about their goals and ambitions.Sometimes you could be amazed by their passions, dreams and passion is infectious.

12) Run around in the rain- ‘Singing in the Rain” or ”The Sound of Music”
Some people enjoy rain others just get Wet- Bob Marley

How do you know you are on the right path in your life?

1.      You spend your time doing things that give you energy rather than deplete your energy. 
I took a class titled “Power and Glory in Turbulent Times” with Nancy Koehn.  We studied all types of leaders from Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill to Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs to Oprah and U2.  Nancy Koehn was insane – so much exuberance and intense knowledge of a wide variety of topics.  She’d recite David Foster Wallace passages and Abraham Lincoln letters from memory on a whim.  She’s the most bad-ass person I’ve ever known.  I’ll be watching a documentary about Henry Ford, and think, “Why is this voice familiar?”, and then realize it’s Nancy Koehn.

At the end of the semester, a group of students had lunch with Professor Koehn.  After telling us about a PBS documentary she was interviewed for, all of these New York Times articles and books she’s writing, and her love for horse-riding, I asked her, “How do you decide how to spend your time?”

She responded, “I just do things that give me energy.  Last week, I was recording for a PBS documentary in New York, and I was so energized afterwards that I skipped all the way to Penn Station.  I thought, ‘Hmm, I should do more of these.’  After I record our show for NPR, I’m so excited that I jingle my keys on the walk to my car.  Writing is so hard for me.  It’s so solitary and so gut-wrenching, but when I finish, I’m so excited and so glad I did it.  I just pay attention to what gives me more energy and just make sure I do more of those things.”

2.      You consistently take the option you care about more.
Another bad-ass professor I had at HBS, Youngme Moon co-taught a class titled “Branding + Different”.  A lot of her business insights are included in her book “Different.”  I figure if I am plagiarizing people, then I should at least plug their books.

On the last day of class, all HBS professors do a final lecture, a revered tradition in the school where professors share deeply personal stories and heartfelt advice on personal and professional success.  Professor Moon dropped a lot of knowledge on us, but one thing she shared that seems relevant here is a story about her son.

Her son one day said, “You always tell me to do something I’m passionate about, but what if I’m not passionate about anything?”  She responded, “If at every choice you come to in life, what job to take, what subject to major in, what city to live in, if at every fork in the road you take the option you care about more, the option that gets you excited and whets your curiosity … then you’ll come to the next fork in the road and you’ll take the option you care about more… then you’ll come to the next fork in the road and you’ll take the option you care about more … you’ll keep coming to these forks and keep taking the options you care about more, then one day, you’ll wake up and realize that you’re doing something you’re passionate about.”

3.      You find your sweet spot.
Find your sweet spot where what you love, what you’re good at, and what society values intersect.  I stole this and am doing a terrible job paraphrasing it from the class “Authentic Leadership Devleopment.”  We had the book “True North” by Bill George, so maybe I am stealing this from that book, but I’m too lazy to double-check.

This is the framework I found particularly helpful for making sure one’s on the right path in life.

Pulling this all together.
For me, making sure one’s on the right path in life is not a simple checklist or a one-time litmus test, but rather the result of a series of good decisions.   Or maybe it’s not even the series of good decisions but rather amassing diverse experiences and later piecing them together, as illustrated in Steve Job’s famous connecting-the-dots Stanford graduation speech.

Either way, if at every decision point – taking a new job, moving to a new location, starting new hobbies, teaching a class – you take the choice that gives leaves you more energized, tempts your curiosity more, and is at that intersection of what you’re good at, what you love, and what society values, then I imagine you’ll be well on your way to your right path in life.

Everyday I wake up

Happiness isn’t a goal that we accomplish or a means to an end.  Being happy is a by-product from what we decide to do with our lives.

Everyday I wake up and tell myself that the most amazing thing just happened to me.  I woke up.  I get to exist at least one more day in this world.  There is no greater thing in the world than being alive; money, love, happiness, it’s all nothing without the mere fact of existence.

That pushes me to do more with my life.  If I am blessed with the gift of being alive, I am going to do everything in my power to live a life with the absolute most passion I can possibly give.

That means you have to take risks.  Love somebody knowing they may never love you back.  Love yourself.  Because if you don’t then no one else is going to give you the time of day.

Strive to do something meaningful with your life.  Not meaningful in the eyes of society.  Getting a degree, a house and a family, that’s selling out, I don’t care about that shit.  Do what is meaningful to you.  Do something that you will look back on years from now and you’ll say to yourself, ‘yeah, I did it.”

Do that, and someway along the ride you’ll forget about being happy.  You’ll just be.

The happiest man alive?

The happiest person I’ve ever met in my life wasn’t a millionaire, a billionaire or someone that won the lottery.

It was a guy that works at the cashier at my local supermarket.

He seems to be the happiest, friendliest and most fulfilled person on this planet.

I never saw someone being so passionate about doing his job. He talks to everyone, asks how their day was and usually lightens up my and everybody else’s day. It’s a gift.

Sometimes I even go and buy my stuff there just to see his friendliness at work. It fascinates me every time.

But it also makes me wonder what his recipe might be, his recipe for happiness. And why so many people are chasing what he seems to have found.

Most importantly, he probably found it without ever having searched for it. Maybe one magic morning it just happened to be there. And I guess that might be his secret sauce.

The secret sauce that might help all of us to be happier and enjoy our lives even more (in case there is such thing as happiness).

As soon as we start questioning what we are currently doing, see hundreds of other shiny opportunities, start comparing ourselves to others and let ourselves blind by the awesome lives that others seem to be living on the outside we start questioning our own path.

We get the feeling that something might be missing in our lives. A feeling that could best be described with unhappiness. So we start the pursuit of happiness. A never ending pursuit…

This is something completely natural and human. So the question should be more about how we can stop questioning our own path and start living a happy life instead.

To answer this question let’s take a look at this beautiful short story, which is a true story by the way (originally appeared in form of a poem in The New Yorker, May 16th, 2005):

An author was at a party on Shelter Island given by a billionaire. A friend came over to him and asked him how he felt that the guy throwing this party makes more money a day than he will ever be able to make with all of his books combined. And the author said, “Fair enough. But I’ve got something he can never have”. “Now what could that be?”, his friend was wondering. And the author replied, “Enough”.

Not having enough is the beginning of the vicious circle and the reason why we start comparing ourselves with others, start questioning our own path and feel like something is missing (although we might already have everything).

As soon as we start realizing the power of having enough we might get a step closer to finding the key to happiness.

The key that the guy working at the cashier at my local supermarket has found already. The key we are all trying to find.

He has enough…

How can I be happy?

‘s how:

  1. Stop comparing yourself to other people.  I work in psychiatry and can tell you first-hand that so many seemingly happy and successful people are burning themselves alive on the fire of their inner turmoil.  Focus on you.
  2. Socialize.  Even if you are an introvert, force yourself into social scenarios that give you the opportunity to meet people and form connections.  These connections will put you back in touch with your humanity.
  3. Make healthy decisions. It is amazing how much exercise and good diet can change your outlook on the world around you.  The negative thoughts in your head that seem so very real and pressing will melt away.
  4. Do something different. Stop wasting your time trying to find the “perfect hobby.”  Pick anything – whether it’s fiber art or coffee tasting.  Find something that you can put effort into, build competence, and see results.
  5. Get in touch with your anchors.  We tend to lose these anchors as we get older.  Try to better position yourself within any communities you once found a home in, whether that’s your family, your neighborhood, your culture, or your religion.
  6. Look less ahead. Look less behind. Try to refocus yourself to the current moment more often. Start building memories instead of living in them.  Start creating your future instead of just hoping for a better one.  If you don’t do this, your life will become a fog that can stretch across your entire time on earth.
  7. Create.  Write in a journal.  Paint something.  Make up a song even if you will never perform it.  Start to fashion the relics that you will leave behind when you are gone.
  8. Let go.  Forgive those who hurt you.  I’m sorry you were hurt.  But if you do not leave that hurt in the past, it will follow you like a wolf – forever casting a dangerous shadow over everything you do.
  9. Worry more about the others.  Many times it is our own narcissism that destroys us. It seems counter-intuitive, but take some time each day to think about the needs of the other people in your life.  Helping them meet those needs will make you happier in a way that you might not understand right now.
  10. Stop running.  There is no such place as “away.” Travel as far as you want, but you will still find yourself waiting for you when you get there. Pull out your sword. It’s time to turn around and fight the dragons inside you.

Matthew Manning

Questions people ask themselves everyday

  • Did I make anyone smile today?
  • Did I tell them I loved them today?
  • Am I better today than I was yesterday?
  • If you die tomorrow, what would you wish you had done today?
  • If I die today and god asks me did I live a good life, what will I say?
  • Are you happy doing this?
  • Why me?
  • What can I do today to get closer to my ultimate goals?
  • What do I want?
  • Is it worth doing?
  • What am I grateful for today?
  • Do I like myself?
  • Am I good enough?
  • What would others think of me?
  • Why am I unhappy? (Perhaps not everyday!)

Questions people don’t ask themselves

  • Do I really need this?
  • If I weren’t already in the middle of doing what I am doing would I still do it?
  • Is it time to walk away and try something new?
  • Does this actually make me happy?
  • What assumptions led me to that conclusion?
  • Is this thing worth the time and effort it took to earn the money to buy it?
  • Aside from “he’s evil,” or “she’s insane,” What are some reasons he or she may be acting that way and what would have to happen to me to make me act the same?
  • When considering the things I am absolutely sure I’m right about, in what ways might I be wrong?
  • What is my basis for claiming X?
  • When considering a phenomenon, view, or system over which people usually take sides — or one for which I’m on a side — what are some ways that both sides are right/wrong?
  • Why am I doing what I am doing?
  • When will I start taking my own advice?
  • If money were not an issue, what would I do with my life?
  • Why the hell do I do this everyday?
  • Before I ask this question, if I take 5 seconds to contemplate it, can I answer it myself?
  • Do I want to be right, or do I want a relationship?
  • What do I need to start doing?
  • What do I need to stop doing?
  • What do I need to stay doing?
  • Is there another way to think about this?
  • Could I be wrong even if I am right?
    Even if everything I believe about a situation is right, and everything I am doing is technically correct, could my actions have unintended consequences? What if I went about solving the problem in a way that caused turbulence?
  • Why do I believe in what I believe?
  • Is this what I really want?
  • How can I best take the advice I am giving?
  • If I loved myself truly and deeply, what would I do in this situation?
  • Is this any of my business?
  • Why do I exist?
  • Am I happy with how I just spent those 10 minutes that I can never get back?
  • If I had it all over again, would I hire/start/build X?
  • Am I making an ass out of myself?
  • Am I procrastinating?
  • Do I really understand what is written here/what he is saying?
  • Is what I’m saying going to offend someone, and if so, am I right in saying it?
  • Why would I act unethically?
  • What’s the worst that could happen?
  • Am I doing everything possible to achieve my goals and if not, why?
  • Am I making the other person feel heard?
  • Am I living in the moment?
  • Am I living my life in a way that makes me happy and makes the people around me that I love happy?
  • Am I making this decision for myself or someone else?
  • What would I do if today were my last day?
  • What would I do if I was not afraid?
  • Is this the best I can give?
  • Will doing this help me become a better person in any way?
  • Can I do better?
  • Is this reaction or belief I hold about other people and and their actions or
    beliefs due more to my unfamiliarity with their practices than it is to some rational and defensible position?
  • Am I spending enough time with the people I care about?
  • Just because I’m thinking it, should I believe it?
  • Will I regret this?
  • Will I regret not doing this?
  • Would I believe in this even if I were the only person in the world believing in it?
  • Am I doing this for the right reasons?
  • Did I do anything right today?
  • Will I be glad I did/am doing this 10 years from now?
  • How are my parents doing?
  • When is the last time I called them?
  • Why didn’t I speak up?
  • Why did I go through with the charade?
  • Why did I stay?
  • Why do I let it continue? 5. When will I be brave for myself?
  • Will I have to serve time?
  • Am I really good enough for this, or am I just wasting everyone’s time?
  • Am I happy?
  • What would make me happy?
  • Am I over-thinking it?
  • What would I do at a juncture when I am satisfied with the money and material possessions I have?
  • If today were the last day of your life, for what would you ask God for extra time?
  • Isn’t there a better way to do this?
  • Who did I help today?
  • What did I learn today?
  • What am I thankful for?
  • Am I being honest? Honest with myself as well as with others?
  • Do I ask myself enough?
  • Is this true for ME?
  • Do I care enough knowing that this will bite my arse in the future?
  • Does this really make sense ?
  • Is what people tell me the truth and based on evidence, or is it just their version of the truth or based on nothing but hearsay?
  • Am I ok?
  • If I knew what I know now, would I still do it?
  • What is the underlying  hidden premise in any universal wisdom
  • Is there an alternate way of looking at it ? explaining it ?
    Is it co relation or causation ?
  • Can Both parties to a debate be wrong (or Right )?
  • Will it matter 10 years down the line ?
  • Why I am spending so much time on Quora
  • Why do I live here, exactly here, in this house, in this neighborhood, in this city?
  • Am I drinking enough water?
  • What limiting beliefs are you holding on to?
  • How can I become the best in physical, mental and social aspects of my life?
  • Did I treat others they way I want to be treated?
  • How many calories is this?
  • Am I happy? if not how can my life be better and what changes should I do to make it better in order for me to be happy.
  • How can I be a better me today?
  • Am I being too hard on myself?
  • where is this heading ?
  • Who am I?
  • What are my weaknesses?
  • What have I done to make a difference?
  • Is it really just the world that is mean all the time? Can I not be wrong sometimes? (If everybody asked themselves this courageous question, they (we) would be able to hate the world and its people a lot less.)
  • How does what I am doing and saying affect other beings?
  • When is the next time I’ll be able to pee?
  • What exactly are we doing now, while pretending to argue about something?
  • Why do I want what I want?
  • How aware of my feelings am I while sitting in front of my screen?
  • At my deathbed, will I be happy I spent so much time in front of a screen?

How You Find The Life That Is Yours

15498149945_efb7e04cea_bWe all have a fantasy life in our heads that we like to hold ourselves hostage to. We feel recklessly and irrationally entitled to the idea we have of who we should be. We hold onto this image, convinced that if we let it go then we are admitting defeat. If we let it go, we’re saying to ourselves (and to the world) that we can’t have that life and giving up on it means giving up on ourselves. As long as we keep this fantasy alive in our mind, it’s still possible, it’s still there for us to think about and dream about and feel entitled to.

We suffer over this fantasy life. We hold the microscope up to our current lives and find all the ways it differs from the life we think we should have. We tell ourselves we are successful, but not nearly as successful as the fantasy. We tell ourselves we are loved, but not nearly as loved as the fantasy. We tell ourselves we are good, but not nearly as brilliant as the fantasy. We punish ourselves for not having this life and we convince ourselves that the tighter we hold onto this vision of who we should be, the closer we get to becoming it. We see this fantasy version of who we should be and assume they’re happier, better, more at peace, stronger, in abundance of everything we are chaotically trying to collect on our own.

The other day I was thinking about what would happen if I let go of this fantasy version of myself that I grip onto so tightly. The first word that came thundering down into my mind was: free. I’d be free. Free of the constant enduring pressure to live up to this idea I have in my head of the person I should be and to end the constant berating of not being her.

Free.

You see, we think we know what we want. We think we know what our beautiful, successful, incredible lives look like, but all we really know is the essence of what it feels like. This is why we fantasize. We want to feel. We don’t need all those things to feel that way. We don’t need to become our fantasy in order to feel the essence of it. All we want is the feeling. If you could get the essence of your fantasy life from another source, don’t you think you’d take it?

The problem is that we’re too singularly focused on how our lives should look. We project out into that fantasy and, when some opportunity or person or anything comes along that does not hold up to the fantasy, we push it away. We don’t recognize what’s right in front of us, because we’re focused on a projection we only have in our minds. A projection which is primarily focused on allowing us to feel what it would be like to be happy, fulfilled, content, joyful, light. Our fantasy life isn’t meant to be achieved, not really. It is meant to be a marker, a guidepost, a way to know what it feels like to step into the light.

You have to let go of the life you think you’re supposed to have in order to step into the life that is yours. This is essential. This is the only way. You have to allow the essence of your fantasy life wash over you, fill up all the cracks in you, and you have to let the image of it blur out into the background. No amount of present suffering over this dream vision is going to bring you the peace and light you desire. Acceptance of where you are now and an allowing of what is to come will give you that peace.

There is a life out there that is yours and it’s not necessarily the movie you have running about in your mind. Maybe it is. Most likely it’s not. The truth is that you cannot use your suffering over the life you don’t have as fuel to get you to the life you want. You have to see clearly and perfectly that you are in your life right now and you have to recognize that this is it, this is the grand moment, and to make that moment feel as beautiful as the essence of that fantasy.

It isn’t easy. Nobody says this is easy. It’s easy to write it and think on it, sure. But stepping into it is one tall order. However, it’s worth it, right? It’s gotta be.

Jamie Varon

Why To Say ‘I Love You’ Even If You’re Not Loved Back

Whenever I would scroll through my Instagram or Facebook feed and see girls posting photos with their boyfriends with the caption, “4 months strong, love you babe,” I can’t help but gag a little and roll my eyes.
I think to myself, “How can you love someone after that short amount of time in which you have been together?”

How can you truly get to know someone and fall in love so quickly? I’ve had boyfriends in my past, but I’ve never been in a long-term relationship. Still, I’ve had relationships last longer than four months and I know I have never been in love before.

That all changed this summer when I met someone and became one of those girls who falls in love in a heartbeat. I couldn’t believe it. Me? Falling in love in four months? This had to be a joke, right? It turned out to be oh so very real.

I met a wonderful guy this summer through one of our mutual friends. I had no intention to meeting anyone new this summer, but then, he came and swept me off my feet. I was smitten. As the summer was coming to an end, I desperately wanted to say those three terrifying words. I told my girlfriends that I was ready to do it, but they thought I was crazy. They said it was too early and that I should wait until he says it first. They led me to second guess whether I was in love. I knew it was love though, and despite what they said, I trusted myself on this matter.

I’m sorry, but is there a rule book for how to express your feelings? Is there a golden rule that states you must wait for the guy to say it first? Who gives a sh*t? I think society is filled with so much heartbreak and confusion because we can’t be honest about our feelings.

The more realized that I was in love with him, the more I understood that love doesn’t have a time limit. We can’t help who we fall in love with and we certainly can’t control the rate at which one falls in love. Unfortunately, by the time I was ready to say those words, we decided to go our separate ways. Nothing was wrong, but we were at different places in our life and the timing was just off.

As months went by, I realized I still was not over him and I desperately needed to be because I knew we weren’t going to get back together anytime soon. I knew I was going to run into him eventually, and I felt that saying “I love you” was the only way I would free myself. I knew he didn’t love me and I wish I could explain how I knew that, but I just knew, deep down, that he didn’t feel the same way.

I know is that he cared about me, but it wasn’t love on his end. That surprisingly didn’t both me, however. What bothered me was that I was keeping all my feelings inside and not letting him know how I felt. When I finally ran into him, I mustered the courage to let him know that I never had the chance to tell him how I fell in love with him.

Despite us having not been together for a long period of time, I told him that I never felt more comfortable and happy around anyone else. I told him that I needed to say this so I could finally move on from him.

Although it must feel 10 times more amazing when that special person says the words back, I learned that I still have time to fall in love again with someone who will eventually reciprocate my feelings. He may not have loved me, but now, I’m finally free of bottling up those feelings inside of me. I’m free of missing him.

When the moment presents itself and you know it’s love, never relinquish the courage to say how you feel. It didn’t work out for me, but that little voice inside my head kept saying “what if?” is what kept me going. As that saying goes, “It’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all”.

Laura Fortunato