If truth is relative to an individual’s beliefs, happiness derived from living the best life is squarely linked to what individuals pursue. In our contemporary world, each and every individual is in the race to search for a better life from the external milieu, when in reality, the search should begin with the individual. Peace, contentment, and happiness are not found. Instead, they are realized. Sometimes, our daily experiences and occurrences are unfair, painful, and horrible. However, reflecting on the past occurrences and experiences reveals that we would never be strong. Nothing in the world occurs by chance or luck, for everything occurs for a reason. Without the small hurdles, life would be similar to a smoothly paved, conventional, flat road that leads to a place called “nowhere.” Although leading such a life would appear safe and comfortable, it would also be dull and pointless. Not only do obstacles in life help us realize our full potential, but they also increase our strength, willpower and, most of all, enable us to live our lives in the best way.
For a considerable portion of my existence, the question of how to best live has never crossed my mind. I think I have been trapped by a code of belief resulting from living other people’s lives. I was born and raised in a family of six, including my parents and three siblings. We lived in a cramped one-bedroomed apartment that characterizes the thousands of apartments dispersed across Manhattan’s streets. I was the youngest in the family hierarchy, alluding that I did not require a bed. I could comfortably sleep on tactically-aligned sofa cushions, which is a thing that turned out to be an important skill. Today, I do not have trouble snoozing throughout the night while squeezed into the segment of an aircraft that is laughably referred to as a seat. My parents worked very hard to ensure that they gave us the best. They had four jobs between them on a daily basis. Despite their outstanding efforts, my parents lived hand-to-mouth and from mouth-to-mouth life that was slightly above welfare.
One of the lowest moments in my life was during my high school education. I attended a private school on a full scholarship. True to say is that I came from a humble background. However, my schoolmates were from the affluent backgrounds where either offspring of bank giants or the offspring of congressmen. Despite the fact that their parents gave them more opportunities as compared to my parents, my classmates worked exceptionally hard with the intentions of exploring the heights of good livelihood. Determination and hard work entailed the success. Leading a good life does not just occur overnight. Individuals who aspire to have a bright future have to create roadmaps. Indeed, this is one thing that my high school classmates understood. Not only did they hire tutors to help them boost their academic performances, but they also joined co-curricular activities that would flesh out their resume.
Every day before leaving for school, my dad emphasized that I should study hard. “Do not let your learning environments change the values and morals we have bestowed on you, never disobey the counsel of the elders, and never be quick to adapt to new occurrences as they sometimes can lead you to perilous destinations,” he would always tell me. He would remind me that luck was on my side owing to the fact that among my brothers and sister, I was the only one who had been awarded a full scholarship in one of the prestigious high school in the area. According to the speech presented by Mark Twain, which was meant to be a piece of advice to the youth, he urged children to obey their parents when they are around (Twain 169). If I had this phrase during my high school days, perhaps I would not have been in much trouble. Although I wanted to follow my father’s advice, I also wanted to identify with my fellow students.
During my teenage years, it dawned on me that if I ever wanted to live the best life, I ought to plan for it early enough. Indeed, I wanted a better life – for myself, my brothers and sister, my parents, and my future family, if any. When I looked at the manner in which my fellow high school classmates worked hard despite having wealthy parents who would guarantee a good life, I realized that success and leading the best life does not just happen by accident. Chance, self-determination, and effort are critical to living a good life. I have vowed to improve our livelihood, and God is on my side as it appears. I am looking forward to doing the best in my academics with the intention of getting an education that will hold the keys to unlock my potential soon.
When I reflect on my personal position, there are a few tips that I have grasped on how to live the best life. My dad’s notion that I should resist change is one thing I have followed, at least only when he is present. One of the areas that my father was so concerned about was how technological advancements could negatively impact our lives. According to my dad’s argument, technology does not improve our lives. He has lived during and before the invention of computers. He argued that 20 years ago, people could take ten times longer to execute work as compared to today. Indeed, this means that technology has increased work efficiency. However, technology has posed a great risk not only to workers but also for employers. The film Smartcard portrays a man who has come to realize that his electro-automated life is not under his control. Instead, it is under the control of the organization that developed the software system. Just like my father’s fear, addiction to technology can have adverse impacts on the lives of human beings. Although I have personally experienced life before the invention of computers, watching this film makes me worry about the dangers involved when we let technology take the best of us.
Believing in myself is one attribute I have learned from my life experiences. Imagine hailing from underprivileged backgrounds, being the only source of hope for your siblings and your parents, and keeping my self-esteem at par with my classmates from the affluent backgrounds. In the essay entitled the Death of a Moth, Virginia equates the wonder of life and death through the lens of the life of a moth, which is one of the overlooked creatures on the planet. Woolf believes that individuals should learn to accept the things they cannot change, although trying to change them is important (Woolf, 74). As such, I am determined to change my family’s social status, and I am sure that with how things are unfolding, we will have a bright future ahead. I have learned to develop positive habits, to create certainty and leave room for nature to take its course. As the saying goes, failing to plan is, by extension, planning to fail. I have developed some strategies for improving our lives, with education being the key condition.
Sometimes, life experiences and encounters happen so that they can teach us a lesson. Some people come into one’s life to serve some purpose. In fact, they help them figure out who they are and who they want to become. Indeed, this is certainly the purpose my high school classmates served. Not only did they help me understand who I am, but they also greatly affected my life profoundly. For individuals out there who are struggling to live their lives, it is imperative to understand that life encounters and experiences help in shaping us to become who we are. Even the most awful experiences can be learned from. Individuals should always remind themselves that they are great people and have self-confidence and a sense of high esteem. Believing in yourself so that others can believe in you is fundamental to living a better life. Finally, individuals should make their lives what they want it to be and stay focused towards their goals. Most importantly, they should create their definitions of what their best life entails, then go out and live it with absolutely no compunctions.
Smartcard. Directed by James Oxford. Oxford Entertainment. 2005. Retrieved on 17th March, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqDRhf1UpvE
Twain, Mark, and Paul Fatout. Mark Twain Speaking. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2006. Internet resource.
Woolf, Virginia. The Death of the Moth, and Other Essays. London: Hogarth Press, 1947. Print.