The Secret to Happiness as a Teenager
That’s what every teenager is looking for, happiness. Everything around them seems to be trying to tear down anything they think is good. Chores, homework, and responsibilities are the tools of misery. With so much responsibility at home though, where does an unhappy teenager find happiness?
Popularity in School
There are so many people better than you. They are more attractive—with thinner bodies, the perfect facial structure, and the most fashionable clothing around. They are liked by all—with a posse of attractive people following them around, doting on their every need and laughing at every joke. They are the teacher’s favorite—even the football or cheer coach approaches them with offers of fame and fortune while you are forgotten in the crowd.
These are the people you want to be like. For some reason, they do it right. They were born with something you weren’t, and you think that if you could just wear the right clothes, say the right things, or catch the right eyes, you too could be just like them.
So you try. You start by swearing off everything that makes you unique—your clothing styles, favorite TV shows, and hobbies. Your friend’s opinions no longer matter. They say you’ve changed, but what do they know anyways? They’re not cool. You seek out a new set of friends and try to fit in with the crowd. You try to become someone else. And that’s supposed to bring you happiness.
Many follow this path and notice that they seem to be happier than ever before. People begin to notice you. Cool people think you’re funny. You suddenly have the confidence to approach those people you idolize. Life is suddenly everything you dreamed it would be!
Only now, you start to notice that your parents are bugging you more than ever. Your previous friends are hurt because they’re starting to feel abandoned. As much as you want to be indifferent, in the back of your mind, you hurt because of the distance that’s coming between you.
But it’s okay, because for the first time ever, you’re finally starting to get social attention. This is what you wanted right?
About Greener Grass
You know the grass isn’t greener on the other side. You’ve heard the annoying saying said over and over again. Yet it doesn’t always seem real, or apply to our lives. Happiness isn’t found by hoping the fence: experimenting with new hair styles, groups of friends, or a new found popularity.
Happiness comes from being your true self. It’s about finding a peace with who you are. It’s about continuing relationships with true friends and being there for them. It’s not about what others think about you, it’s about being you and spending time with those you actually care about (not the people you wished cared about you). Doubting? Take a look at those who do “have it all.”
We like to think that Celebrities are happy, because they seem to have it all. They have money, the looks, the posses, everything. Yet the news is full of stories of them throwing away their lives for something because they can’t find true happiness in any of it.
They learned from life experience that having all these things doesn’t actually make you happy. The secret to happiness is being the best you that you can be. When you are being yourself, doing things that you actually like to do, and pursuing your dreams (not the head cheerleader’s or quarterback’s) you find true happiness.
That’s the Secret. Be yourself. Don’t try to be someone else. Who’s to say they’re happy? Who’s to say high school is everything (shocking idea right?).
Take it from those that have been in your shoes—even if it was a millenia ago. Most adults wanted that too at some point. It’s only after high school that they started to find true happiness in other things.
A Teen’s Guide to Success
This idea sprung from the book A Teen’s Guide to Success. This is a book for teens unveiling the secrets of success (including happiness), even as a teenager. The author Ben discusses how a truly successful teen is one that can be all around happy (not just making money or buying a car).
Ben presented his book for teens to help them realize that the sooner you can be yourself, the happier you’ll be every day.