For as long as I can remember, I've had goals. Not goals that I actually worked towards achieving, but goals that were just there in the background influencing my ideas about how my life should be. I was trying to live up to the life that society tells us we need; the big beautiful house, expensive car, perfect mate and kids, nice things, and lots of money. I was wanting these things because I was supposed to want them, not because I really did. I was conflicted, and that was causing me distress. I also had the lingering misconception that acquiring the things I desired would bring me happiness. Wanting things is fine so long as you know those things alone will not make you happy. Because true happiness is found within.

Not very long ago, I decided to sit down and really think about what would make me happy, and as I did the list of external things began to get smaller and fade away. It was incredibly liberating. I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. Here is what I realized: I don’t want a big house because who would clean it, me? I don’t want a really expensive car, because I would rather travel the world, or feed a starving family for a year. I don’t want a perfect mate, otherwise I would need to be perfect. I don’t want my kids to be perfect, I want them to be themselves and make mistakes and learn. At last, I don’t want the entire focus of my life to be about making money just to buy more stuff because I have too much stuff already, and i'm really not into all that unless i'm trying to feed my ego.

So what would make me happy then? I kept thinking of how my life would look if it were “perfect,” and you know what I discovered? It already is. I just didn’t know it because I had this perfect ideal I was trying to live up to. We live in a society that teaches us to constantly be seeking approval and recognition. The issue that comes with this line of thinking is constant comparison; is my body as nice as hers, is my house as nice as theirs, is my car as nice as… and so on. We grow up submersed in social media, media, and fashion magazines that are all showing us how we should be. Or television shows that give us ideas of how life should look, and none of it is real. Even reality television shows aren’t real. So why are we looking to them for guidance? Your life is as perfect as you decide it is.

Life is all about variety and expansion, with each of us being our very own unique version of the universe expressing itself. I now feel a sense of duty to live my life as authentically as I can. Growth occurs when we all bring our own unique ideas and creativity to the table. If we all look to a select few as the idea generators, then we end up living a version of ‘The Stepford Wives,’ and that would be incredibly dull. There is only one of you in the whole world. So how should your life look? However the heck you want it to. Finally, if you want what you already have, then happiness is sure to follow.