By Mikaela Arce
Bold. Brave. Happy.
Tell the people in your life how you truly feel about them. Appreciate the little things and live for the big things. Live for things like love, not just for others but for yourself as well. Do everything, and do nothing simultaneously.
The Study, simply outlined, created a kaleidoscope of results. Meant as a learning experience, this experiment required asking four very vague questions:
1. What do you want from life?
2. How do you feel about the future?
3. How do you feel about the past?
4. When are you happiest?
These questions, asked to a variety of people including children, complete strangers, family members, and those living abroad, gave concrete results. Although, with the variety of unique participants it became difficult to put an exact reading on what the message defines. In fact, it’s clear what the message states: happiness.
“[I want] happiness, success,” junior David “Eric” Fricke said. “Whatever I end up with and how everything will happen at the right time, whatever goals I make up and set for myself, that I would accomplish those goals,” Fricke said.
Of all the people interviewed, almost every single one of them wanted happiness. Whether it’s continued happiness, the beginning of happiness, or even to make others happy, happiness nonetheless.
“Out of life, I’d just like to gain a lot of experience to carry with me and use all those memories to spread some joy,” senior Cory Johnson said.
While each and every response uniquely represents each individual, the results curiously showed similarity and differences. From an early age people get told everyone holds differences. Some people strive to become the greatest Pokemon trainer while others crave success in a popular business, and others want nothing more than to sit at home watching Netflix for hours.
“[All I want is] a cat and a house with rooms that don’t leak and a roof that won’t fall on my head,” junior Jaymi Morris said.
It’s too easy to forget about the exceptional variety that exists within society when everyone tries so hard to imitate others. People often present two selves: the one they put before others (clever, gifted, amusing) and the one at heart (quirky, thoughtful, compassionate). Life’s too short to spend daydreaming about a different reality.
“All I want from life is to be happy with what I have, proud of all I’ve accomplished, and feel like I’ve made a difference in some way,” Christina Curtis said.
Many try forgetting or pretending the past never happened, nonetheless it’s critical in the quest to move forward. Not only in moving forward, but staying present.
“The past is a way to learn from your mistakes and always remember where you came from,” sophomore Sophia Lopez said. “The past is a reminder, but it should never hold you back from anything.”
Sitting around worrying about what mysteries or adventures lie ahead won’t make time move faster or dreadful tasks like growing up any easier. Things go wrong, relationships get tested, situations occur that may seem like the end of the world, but everything turns out fine. Many things can go wrong, just as many things can go great. Leave the house optimistic for the day ahead. The impact of a positive attitude, while small, contains the capability to change things profoundly for good.
“I feel cautious but optimistic about the future because nothing is set in stone and it’s what you make it,” Johnson said.
Happiness doesn’t occur 24/7, but that’s okay. Sadness will occur but turning it into positivity and finding that middle ground will help in figuring out what circumstances require what actions. The Study proved happiness a universal feeling without specificity to one defining moment.
“I want meaning and purpose in life,” sophomore Aubrey Parke said. “I don’t want my existence to be bouncing from one cloud to another, trying to find good feelings or enjoyment before I fall through. I yearn to know not what sounds nice but what is true, to see the world in light of what is true, and communicate that truth to others through my words and life.”