I get asked for a lot of things. I get asked for advice, opinions, and favors. Depending on the person I typically like it. It's always a nice feeling helping someone out no matter how small the occasion. But lately I've been questioning why people in general want my opinion or advice. Is it just because I'm older? Is it because I've lived, failed, and learned from a lot of things? Is it because I've lived in several different areas throughout my life? Or is it just simply because I'm a good listener and I'm honest about things? I don't really know. More than likely I feel like I'm just the only one willing to listen and give an answer. Do I always have the right answer or the best advice probably not. I'm a person who likes to chew on things before I find the right words, but I always do my best to mumble out the best that I can in that moment.

If there is one piece of advice that I can give to anyone out there struggling and feeling lost it's this... People are never truly satisfied. To be happy isn't like you're joining a landmark or a team. That as soon as you get there all the sudden you are happy for the rest of your life. People always want more of something. As soon as they accomplish a goal or task they are happy and filled with joy. Embrace those as much as you can. Even if it's something so little you should celebrate it and not degrade it like it means nothing. Those are the moments that will make you a better person and a happier person.

Being happy is a state of mind that can last for weeks, days, or simply a few moments. It's not a consistent state of being. No one is always happy. They are just pretending to be and making it up as they go just like the rest of us. We think perception is reality but everyone has their own struggles and battles they're fighting internally or externally. Be kind even when you don't want to. Be helpful even when you have very little to give. Bad things will happen to good people and great things will happen to bad people. It's life. You just have to roll with it and keep looking forward to the next thing to make you happy. Start to really enjoy the journey and the process instead of the end game.

It's okay to be upset or depressed at times. If everything was easy and attainable the first time it wouldn't feel so amazing when we do accomplish something. Use these times to reflect and reassess your life. Maybe there's something that needs to be changed? If there's some form of tension energy use it. Go for a walk or try to be productive. Some times cleaning up my apartment and finishing boring grown up chores is enough to release some tension. It's not glamorous or thrilling but it does the trick. It helps you move on from any sadness or pain. If we're going anywhere it always starts with one step.

There's a saying in sports to never get too high or too low. What they mean is when you're on a winning streak and feeling really good about yourself that's the moment when you're about to crash and lose it all. You take it for granted or get careless. In a sense everything is coming easy to you and it's about to go all away. The opposite of this is that there's always another game, another shot, another at bat coming for you so don't get too low because there will be another chance. If you're too upset about it you've already failed your next opportunity. I like to approach life in the same regard. Or at least I try to. I get that we all have our emotional roller coaster at times.

If I'm bitter or upset about something and holding onto it I might lose out on an opportunity for something great or fun. It's these moments that I've mentioned that make us happy. They can come out of nowhere but we have to be open to them. I was having a bad day the other day while working but I was trying my best to stay positive. A young lady came in the store looking for something. She was super nice and appreciative. When I saw her lean down I noticed she had an implant in her ear. I wasn't sure how severe her hearing loss was, but this girl was happy and glowing and even thanked me again as she left the store. She gave me a moment of happiness  just by being nice and sparked the idea of learning sign language again.

Small things like this are what I think are the real keys to a happy and fulfilling life. You can get through the bad times with small moments of happiness to keep you from drowning. You keep trying to improve yourself and worry less about the things and people you can't control. Over the years I've lost a lot of friends and acquaintances. And that's okay with me. I will meet more and I will have deep and interesting conversations with strangers because I'm open to it. People are not things to be used or toyed with, but some times people just run their course in your life and you weren't meant to be together anymore. It's life.

In that same period I've stopped drinking pop. I avoid sugar and caffeine as much as possible. I became a vegetarian and have almost given up all dairy products. I've tried my best to stay in shape by working out. I've tried my best to use my anger towards being productive instead of being self-destructive. I've tried out new things and picked up a few new hobbies.

In short, the key to being happy is realizing it's not a light switch of being on or off. It's a progression really. Take as many moments as you can get and realize that the bad times won't last. If you're open with your heart and open with your mind you will experience a lot of things that others aren't willing to. You will get more moments and stories that keep you happy for your journey instead of just appreciating the big fancy stuff like promotions and events.

Published by Brian Argetsinger