Happiness. One word, nine letters, a million different meanings. What does it truly mean to be happy? How can we be happy with our own lives? These kinds of questions make you think about your personal life - they help you put everything in to perspective. When I was 7, I thought that Barbie dolls could make me happy. When I was 14 I thought that money could make me happy. When I was 17, I thought that the people I loved could make me happy. Of course these things can all provide you with feelings of joy, which puts you in a good mood, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you are truly happy with yourself and your life. It takes a lot of hard work to be truly content with your own life, and to ultimately find happiness within yourself.

Growing up, I often found myself relying on other things and other people to make me happy. It's a shame to say, but I didn't find much joy in my own life. I wasn't enough for myself, but the people and things around me were. It really wasn't until I went off to college and chose to step outside of my comfort zone that I found out how capable I was at making myself happy. I reflected on my own life a lot, and I really had to think about who my friends were and what I loved the most about my life. From this, I realized more about myself than I ever thought was possible. The first step in achieving total happiness is accepting who you are as an individual and understanding that where you are in life is where you're supposed to be.

When I started being truly happy with myself, the things around me started changing. I took pleasure in the little things. Home cooked meals tasted better, watching the sunset made me appreciate the world we live in so much more, my favorite songs always put me in a good mood, and talking with the people I love made every encounter with them special. I know all of this sounds cheesy, but honestly it's the truth. In the end we only have ourselves, and I think that putting ourselves first is a great step in ensuring that you live a happy life that you can look back on and totally appreciate.