Archive | March, 2013

Do What Makes You Happy

20 Mar


This is not just a blank space, this is a canvas and I want you to picture yourself within it. What is your dream career path? Where do your passions lie? Imagine yourself doing what truly makes you happy.


This is me standing with one of my previous students. I aspire to be a teacher, with all my heart. I am passionate about working with kids. Some say…“you know teachers don’t make great money, right?” I know. Others say…“are you sure you have the patience to do that?” I am positive. Teaching is what makes me happy and it is what I want to pursue.

How many times have you spoken with someone who had a career they absolutely despised? Well, I don’t know about you but I have listened to one to many complaints. Take just one second and picture a world where everyone did what he or she loved.

I know, right now, you are thinking way too realistically. Yes, I understand that we need people working virtually every job to have a functioning society and there is the thought that that may not happen if everyone did what they aspired to. I am also guessing you are probably thinking, “Jasmine, that just doesn’t work.” At what point, though, does the functionality of society matter more than the happiness of it’s individuals. Please, look beyond those thoughts and take a few moments to see just what I mean.

Too many people in our world are not doing what they love. Our society is lacking passion and without passion, without happiness, where can we really go? I know that people are scared. We are scared that we will pick the wrong career, we are scared that if we do what we love, we will fail, and we are scared that we will be stuck without anywhere to go. Our passion is our happiness and it is our strength.

The thought that there are countless people in this world working at something they dislike is absurd. Every generation values happiness in life. My friend recently shared with me that her grandpa has always said, “If you do what makes you happy, you never have to work a day in your life.” If you love the career path you choose, you don’t have to call it work. Work almost signifies something that you trudge through, but if your work makes you happy, it is like it is not work.

When you envision a life of money that may sound great. You could have anything you want. As cliché as the saying sounds, money does not buy you happiness. These studies have shown that money will not keep you happy. What happens is that people create these highs for themselves like the “oh I just bought a new car” high or “did you see my expensive new dress?” high. Those highs don’t last long and the happiness, in essence, wears off.

Often times money causes us to change our minds. The idea that working some random position will get us more money leads us to take that job, even if it is boring or ridiculous to us. People worry about making a living. In some cases it is a rather stressful thought. No one likes the idea of being unstable. Money cannot make your life though. There is a constant battle happening of whether to take a job that makes you happy while only making a small sum or to take a job that keeps you stressed while making a rather large sum.

If you spend your life doing what you don’t like just to make a living, you will only be living to do what you don’t like. What if money didn’t matter? Your pay off in happiness will make all the difference in the end. Choose to do what keeps you passionate; choose to do what starts a fire in your heart.

On occasion it is easy to feel inadequate, like you are not good enough. We think we are not good enough to make it in the world of preforming, sports, business, medicine, or so many others. I think you are good enough. With a love for something, you are far beyond good enough.

How many times a day are people criticized for walking towards their dream, how many people are told they could never make it, how many are told that what they love is foolish, how many people wish they had support but didn’t? Remind yourself, what is it that you are passionate about? Think about what it feels like to be supported and think about just the opposite. Think about what it feels like to be happy and to want that happiness for other people. Follow your dreams and help others to follow their dreams as well.

We get our support from our friends, our family, our teachers, and our society. We also get our criticisms from our friends, our family, our teachers, and our society. It is too often that someone holds back from happiness, too often that someone walks away from their dream. That only leads to wonder and wonder makes you long for something better. You start to question what it would feel like to follow your passion. Sometimes you have to be your own (or biggest) support system if it means chasing your dreams. Do more of what makes you happy, do not to try to please others. There is one person in control of your happiness and that is you.

After our basic needs are met, our happiness will not depend upon material things, wealth, luxuries, or the “fancy” life. To be happy you have to live your life doing what you love because if you don’t love what you do, you are not really living. Looking back on your life, what will mean the most? Will it be the material objects or the life lived along the way? By chasing your dreams you feel fulfilled, by feeling fulfilled you become happy.

“And in the end, it’s not the years
in your life that count.
It’s the life in your years.”
– Abraham Lincoln

There is a new branch in psychology called positive psychology. Positive psychologists are studying “the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive.” This field of psychology is based on the idea that people do in fact hope to have meaningful or fulfilling lives. This field revolves around how to enhance lifestyles. The major topics that these scientists are concerned with are positive experiences, relationships, and institutions. There is the notion that being happier, doing more of what you love, will keep you positive, optimistic, and more productive.

When we are happy, we treat others better. We treat others how they deserve to be treated. When we are happy we work better with others and we work better in general. There are a number of reasons why happiness does well in our lives, but as previously mentioned, it boosts productivity.

Best selling author, Alexander Kjerulf, is one of the world’s leading experts on happiness at work and he shares with us the reasons why happiness boosts productivity:

1. Happy people work better with others.

2. Happy people are more creative.

3. Happy people fix problems rather than complaining about them.

4. Happy people have more energy.

5. Happy people are more optimistic.

6. Happy people are way more motivated.

7. Happy people get sick less often.

8. Happy people learn faster.

9. Happy people worry less about making mistakes.

10. Happy people make better decisions.

It is too often that people feel stuck in their situations. There is always a way to reach for your goals, your dreams. It is common that people say they want the best for you when they are really keeping you from ultimate happiness. Living and working in a position that keeps you happy will lead you to great heights. Forget about others opinions and chase your aspirations. If your friends and your family truly love you, it means they want what is best for you. If they want what is best for you, they want you happy and they will support you.

Happiness is a need.

Here are several accounts of people doing what they love. It is possible. People choose to do it. So can you! Are you unhappy now? Change your path. Are you uncertain of where you are going? Follow your dreams. In all situations, do what you love.

In my own path, I took the time to explore my happiness. Serving others and helping others has been a monumental piece of my life. The feeling of happiness I get from lending a hand and being there for someone is beyond explanation. I know that serving others makes me happy and I know that I have a passion for it, such a deep passion. I realized that the helping professions are for me and now, my dream is to teach and I am headed there. I have great support from my loved ones and I know they want the best for me. I will always do what I love because by being happy, as positive psychology hints to, I will thrive in all areas of my life.

It is important to live our lives in the way we hope to. It is important that we follow our own aspirations, be our own people, and choose our own beliefs. Our society would ebb and flow so much more smoothly if we all accepted each other for the people we are, if we all stopped being scared to do and be what we want to.

If we do what we love, wouldn’t the world be a better place? Imagine a world full of people who were doing what they loved, people who had support and not criticism. A world full of passion and hope, of optimism and happiness.


If you are lost, don’t give up. Take a step in the direction of your passion. Confidently seek your happiness.

The world will be a better place.


The Value of Happiness

11 Mar

When I look at a child, I see their passion, their desire for knowledge, their curiosity, their imagination, and their free spirit. When I look at a child, I know I chose the right major. When I look at a child, I smile and imagine myself happy for the rest of my life, doing something I love. When I look at a child, I am positive that I want to be an elementary teacher.

There are good teachers…and then there are not so good teachers. That very idea leads me to think, if they do not absolutely love teaching, why do they do it?

So I have started to think what if everyone could be happy? Well, they can. I believe that we would live in a better place, a better world, if everyone did what his or her heart desires. Just do what you love.

There have been many people, places, and experiences in my life that have influenced the way I feel about careers. As a freshman in college I have settled into my Integrated Educational Studies major at Chapman University. I haven’t always wanted to teach. It is almost that it has always been in my view but I have not always acknowledged its existence. For quite some time I wanted to be a lawyer, I even got voted best attorney in my mock trial case. I moved into the social sciences and started thinking about Sociology, Anthropology, and Political Science. I started my freshman year at Chapman with a major in Sociology and soon there after, found my way to the College of Education. You know you are in the right major when you love your core classes. After all that time, I have found what I love.

I volunteer taught preschool religious education for two years at my home church, All Saints Parish in Puyallup, Washington. Along with that I did many other volunteer projects within my church. My religion, something incredibly important to me, has strengthened my heart for service. Throughout high school I did a lot of volunteer work and the more I did, the more I loved serving. The teachings of my faith have deepened my understanding of what it means to serve and it is something I love. Now, I am lined up for a career in a helping profession.

I love to help. I found what I love. I found my passion. I am following it. Don’t be afraid to follow yours.

My least favorite thing to hear is, “you know teacher’s do not make very much money, right?” I know and I can honestly, 100% say…I do not care. I know that as an educator, I will make enough money to live. I will make enough money to have a healthy and full lifestyle. I would much rather do what I love than take up space in another profession.

You have to understand that, as much as you might believe that money is important, it is not. You don’t need endless amounts of it, to spend on useless material objects, no matter how tempting that sounds. Like the famous phrase goes, money can’t buy you happiness. I am quite certain that there is a large number of people on earth that do what they do because someone told them that their dream wouldn’t get them anywhere. Money will not buy your happiness but passion can bring you to happiness. Just do what you love.

So my faith, my relationships in working with others, and my heart have all led me here. I believe that happiness will get me to places that money cannot.

If I am not passionate about teaching, how I am supposed to expect my students to be passionate about learning. All I know now is if the people of this world spend more time doing what they truly love, our world will be a better place.

“Be in love with your life. Every minute of it.” – Jack Kerouac