English and Japanese version here.
All of us want to be happy. But sometimes we lose hope, and it feels like the world and its problems are overwhelming. Being happy is easier and more simple than you realize. Here are a few pieces of advice to help guide you, so that you too can be happy.
- Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, because it doesn’t last forever.
- Don’t waste your entire youth in cram schools and studying too much. School is important, but too much isn’t going to help you become a better person. Spend time learning about other people, falling in love for the first time, trying new things and exercising your creativity. There is more to learn in life than what you find in textbooks.
- Don’t worry too much about what school you get into. Don’t buy into the illusion that attending one school makes you a better person than someone attending a different school. It doesn’t. All people are born equal. The most important differences between us are in our actions; not DNA, not family, not wealth, not political influence or anything else. One school is only better than another if it does a better job of helping you learn. Competing for status is an empty goal.
- Dream. Dreams are what challenge you and the world to have a better future.
- Don’t worry about the future. Worrying is as effective as trying to solve an math equation by chewing gum. It’s better to accept that the future is out of your control, but know that you can still work towards a better one.
- Do one thing everyday that scares you. Maybe you’re afraid of speaking in public, or standing up to a bully, or just afraid of the dark. Fear can be conquered.
- Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, and don’t put up with people who are careless with yours.
- Don’t waste your time being jealous about what you think other people have; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long, but in the end, it’s only with yourself.
- Smile. As often as you possibly can.
- Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; compliment others, don’t insult them, even behind their backs.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking kills, and second-hand smoke kills friends, family and co-workers. Science and medicine have proven that.
- Some people are selfish, some people are rude, but the first step towards more kindness in the world is to be kind to others first.
- You are not as fat as you imagine. In fact, you may be too thin. While you don’t want to be fat, being too thin is not sexy or healthy.
- Keep your old love letters, throw away your old income statements.
- Be kind to your teeth. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.
- Don’t be afraid to do something just because you’re not good at it. Everyone was just as bad at some point, and sometimes that can be a lot more fun. You will get better over time.
- Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. It doesn’t matter if you’re 16 or 40 and still confused, but if you don’t know, go out and try new things in order to find out.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out and offer to help others. They may be shy at first, but you never know just how much good you can do until you try.
- Drink milk, eat cheese, bok choy or even hot peppers, whatever you want, but get plenty of calcium for strong bones.
- There’s more to life than accepting someone else’s idea of what you should do with it. Find something you want to do passionately, something you believe in, that makes the world a better place, and gives your life meaning.
- Exercise. It’s the most effective way to stay healthy, and be beautiful. Your body is the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.
- Finding the right person to share your life with means finding yourself first. Being alone is easy, but not being alone is easier than you think.
- Get to know your parents, they’ll be gone all too soon. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
- Understand that friends come and go, but for a precious few you should work to hold on to. Do not underestimate how important they are to your life.
- Take vacations. Visit new places, eat new food, try new things. Spend quality time with your family. Doing these things will make your life richer in ways more important than making money can.
- Travel. There are unlimited ways to live life. See how people in other places are living their lives. Experiment with the way you live yours.
- Being different isn’t a bad thing. But as different as we are on the outside, we all share the same basic experiences and emotions. Despite differences in gender, culture, social standing, wealth, language and clothing, we are inherently united in ways far more important. Being different doesn’t make you less normal, it just makes you a different kind of normal and that’s ok. Identity doesn’t come from what other people tell you that you should be. You can be anything you want.
- Scars are ok, even emotional ones. It means the wounds have healed and you’re ok now. Maybe a little wiser.
- We’re beset on all sides from natural disasters, corrupt politicians, war, famine, disease, laziness, selfishness, greed and misery. The world is unpredictable, and no matter how much we try, we can’t hide from it, even by living on an island. Life can be mean, but it isn’t about how hard life hits you. It’s about how much you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you experience and keep moving forward. That’s how we grow. That’s how winning is done.
- The world does not need weapons and conflict. We need schools and health care and art galleries. Putting the past behind us and working towards a closer, happier future with our neighbors is the best way to achieve world peace.
- Accept that certain things will always be true: economies fluctuate, the political system always needs improvement, you too will get old, and the world will change. None of these should stop you from fully living your life.
- Never give up.
- Living in a democracy means we all have a voice. Using that voice isn’t a privilege, it’s our duty. Speaking out against injustice and corruption and bad government is the first step in making our country better.
- We only have one planet to live on. We all share it and we all have an equal responsibility to help care for it. It’s the single most important thing you’ll ever pass on to your children.
- Be careful whose advice you take. There are plenty of parents and politicians, tv shows and newspapers that all want to tell you exactly what to do in life, but you don’t have to do exactly what they say. Sometimes they are right, sometimes they are wrong. You are always free to decide for yourself.
- Be careful which rules you follow. Don’t follow blindly. All rules should have a valid reason for being. If there is no valid reason for a rule, the rule should be changed or removed. Rules should be made to help us, not hinder. Sometimes they can do more harm than good. Learn to question rules and authority and make sure that these are in place for your benefit, not your detriment. Rules can be changed. You can change them.
- Love. With all your heart. Never be afraid to show it, or tell someone how you feel.
- Life is a challenge. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it feels all too hard, but in the end, it’s always too short and we wish we did more with it in the time we had. Don’t waste your time. If you want to be happy, you can. All you have to do is try.
Download: PDF – Be Happy
Like the article? You can support the author by buying it on Amazon and Smashwords. Your support is always greatly appreciated. 🙂
[amazon template=iframe image&chan=default&asin=B00IPY49MS]