The Purpose Of Life Isn't Happiness

The Purpose Of Life Isn't Happiness

No matter how hard we try we can never capture happiness. We have to be still and let happiness find its way to us.
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Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make a difference that you have lived and lived well.”

When we are asked what we want from life, we simply answer, “I want to be happy” or “I want to make enough money so I am not worried.” It's confusing to read that the purpose of life is not to be happy when were are always told that happiness is key. Maybe the question is not how to achieve happiness, but what creates happiness? Could it be that we confuse happiness with these other traits: honor, usefulness, compassion, and making a difference?

When we feel happy, is it because we have money, cars, clothes, and the newest iPhone? Or is it when we have purpose? Perhaps the purpose of life is to have a purpose. If every one of us had a purpose and we knew what our mission was, maybe then we would be happy. Then no amount of money, material things, or other people’s approval would be needed for happiness.

Happiness is a fickle fleeting feeling because we experience it in bursts. We want to define our entire complex lives using one fickle feeling. Instead of concentrating on what makes us honorable, compassionate, useful, and impactful, we concentrate on a feeling. Happiness is not a creature that is captured easily; happiness runs away from us, it hides, and we will struggle forever if all we do is chase it.

However, to be honorable, compassionate, and useful are actions that we can choose to do. Once we have chosen to do something and we feel that purpose, it will create the happiness that we seek. If we wake up in the morning and know that we are making a difference, we can’t help but feel happy. When we are honorable and stick to our personal morals, we feel happy. Then, when put aside our pride and show compassion to another, we will rejoice in the feeling of caring.

So instead of chasing happiness, be still and choose to be something. When we are concentrating on having a purpose, we will stumble into happiness. It will find us and we do not need to find it. The goal of life may seem to be happiness, but we need to figure out how to achieve it without chasing it. We have to build the ladder before we start crawling to the top, and the ladder of happiness is composed of honor, compassion, usefulness, and living well.

Cover Image Credit: Nichole Bentz

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An Honest Review Of ItWorks! From Someone Who Doesn't Sell The Products

No, I'm not looking for you to "join a team" or begin any challenges.
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I'm sure you've seen your friends on Facebook transition from friend to salesman. Whether it be for Scentsy, LipSense, or AdvoCare; multi-level marketing companies are on the rise thanks to social media. ItWorks! remains one of the most prominent.

ItWorks! is a health and wellness company using primarily plant-based ingredients without any artificial sweeteners or coloring. Their "number one seller" is the famous body wraps but the company is mostly weight loss supplements and vitamins. The company has a passion for the natural over the synthetic. Co-founder Mark Pentecost states on the site's Our History page that "you want to know that you're putting the very best things in your body."

Since most reviews of these products come from distributors, who are therefore biased, I have reviewed three of their greatest products and one I believe you should avoid.

1. Greens™ Blend Chocolate

As a vegan, I sometimes have to double check that I'm receiving the proper nutrients. ItWorks! Greens have been saving my life lately. It contains 52 herbs and nutrient-rich superfoods as well as 34 fruits and veggies. It is meant to alkalize, balance, and detoxify.

This is my favorite product! It gives me energy and even fills in for breakfast sometimes. It honestly makes me feel great. Then again... they always said eating all your fruits and veggies would!

ItWorks! gives you those healthy servings in a delicious chocolate flavor (which is bomb with almond milk). Make sure you use a blender bottle or blender. Like many powdered supplements, it can have that grainy aftertaste.

2. Advanced Formula Fat Fighter™

The idea behind this supplement is that it’s "okay to indulge if you have your Fat Fighters." Basically, if you just must have that sweet treat or piece of bread then you can take this pill within an hour to prevent your body from absorbing the carbs and a portion of the fats. If you're anything like me, you eat what you want when you want, so you'll end up taking these pills on the daily.

The main reason I like the Fat Fighters is that they reduce cravings and I normally have such a sweet tooth!

3. ThermoFIGHT™

This product is meant to increase calorie burning, boost the rate of your metabolism, and boost your energy. Like with Greens, I definitely feel energized when I take this supplement. Not in a jittery or wired way, either.

They say "abs start in the kitchen" but I'll try and cheat the system when I can!

4. Ultimate Body Applicator™ and Defining Gel™

This is the ItWorks! claim to fame... and that ASTOUNDS me.

I used to be so skeptical of this company because of the wraps. I tried them three different times and was not impressed each time. The ultimate body applicator and defining gel are meant to tighten and tone the skin to redefine the appearance of your body’s contour. Sure, you'll receive those results... just at an outrageous price. It's an expensive product that requires a lot of re-purchasing in order to receive any drastic results. Not to mention the most drastic results are just reduction of water weight.

They're really just an overpriced skin firming lotion. I suggest finding a nice cream from Target and sitting in the sauna instead.

If your facebook-friend-turned-salesman pushes for you to buy the wraps, just remember that I warned you.

I would like to give an honorary mention to KetoCoffee (probably their second most popular item). Because it is not vegan, I have not given it a try. I have heard amazing things from multiple women, though. Most keto coffee recipes give people the shakes and amp them up too hard. I've heard that ItWorks! has perfected the recipe.

I have used the first three products for a little over three months now. Sometimes I am inconsistent and miss servings. However, I match these products with a vegan diet (mostly whole foods based) and 3-4 days of exercise. I do not have drastic results but I have lost a little over ten pounds and feel great each day. I plan to remain a customer with this company (I have Greens on Autoship!).

I feel so blessed to be a Loyal Customer with ItWorks! because I receive up to 40% off and free shipping after three months. Without this discount, I probably never would have given this company a second thought. I highly recommend going that route because, well...

Cover Image Credit: Savanah Garcia | Instagram

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3 Truths Behind Women’s Healthcare On A Christian College Campus

Equal access may not really be all that equal.

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Women's healthcare and their ability to not only chose what is best for their body but even have the ability to access the necessary medical care has been a debate in the recent political climate. This discussion has been brought about by America's rediscovery of Religion within its leadership. While we are becoming again "one nation under God" we are also becoming one nation with limited options.

I had always separated myself from the healthcare crisis that women are facing because I had always had the luxury of private insurance, parents willing to let me make my own decisions, and doctors that aided me on finding out what worked best for my body. However, moving away from home I have realized that not everyone is as fortunate and that it can be easy to be put in a situation where the necessary healthcare isn't readily available.

Like most college students, I frequent the on-campus health center whether it's for a cold, a flu shot, or even my monthly dose of birth control. I never figured that attending college on a Christian campus would impact the ways I could take care of myself and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The healthcare provided to me in the recent months has been tinged with a judgmental overtone of religious superiority. Growing up Catholic, my childhood was about as religious as it got but being exposed to belittling ideas behind how a woman should take care of her body was a new realm that frankly made me uncomfortable.

1. “Why are you taking birth control, it’s not only for contraceptive use right?”

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Walking into the health center for my first round of birth control this year, I was faced with this question. Although it is perfectly normal for a healthcare provider to ask why a patient may be considering birth control, it is not normal to imply that using birth control only as a contraceptive is wrong. Although I do use birth control to manage chronic ovarian cysts in addition to using it as a contraceptive, women across campus should not feel bad for utilizing the pregnancy prevention aspects of birth control. This judgment can often sway a woman from protecting herself during sex for the fear of going against her faith, as many providers in the on-campus health center imply

2. “Have you ever considered abstinence as a form of birth control?"

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When my close friend attempted to begin a birth control regiment this year, she was asked this. As a college health care center it is their job to equip students with the best forms of protection for practicing safe sex as it inevitably will occur and promoting abstinence above all else only encourages ignorance. When abstinence is taught as the only method of pregnancy prevention, it ironically leads to more pregnancy and even sexually transmitted diseases as young college students are not aware on how to practice safe sex nor do they feel comfortable enough to ask how to go about it.

3. "Are you sure this isn’t just an STD?”

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Recently, I went into the health center after experiencing the symptoms of a kidney infection; painful urination and lower back pain. Before even asking if I was sexually active, the health care provider questioned if I was just dealing with something along the lines of gonorrhea or chlamydia. I am not sure if this was based upon the way I was dressed or my gender but I was alarmed that without asking preliminary questions they would just assume I was sick due to an STD. After running a test and discovering that it was a kidney infection, they reinforced that "when" I do contract an STD I should come in right away.

It is discouraging as a young woman on a Christian campus that I am not able to obtain the same medical care with the same discretion and sensitivity that someone on a non-religious campus or of a different gender could get. Teaching abstinence and shaming safe sex will only create a culture of oblivion. Additionally, intentional slut-shaming on the basis of a patient's health concerns is yet again unprofessional and discourages students from coming in for medical care. Christian Campuses should not implement their religious beliefs when dealing with a student's health as for many, on-campus health centers are their only option for medical care and each student is entitled to the same level of care regardless of their religious beliefs, sexual practices, or gender.

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