I’ve fallen in love before. I’ve been to the very top of the Eiffel Tower. I’ve been in a car going so fast down tall hills that my stomach tickles. I’ve eaten an entire death by chocolate cake. I’ve laughed until I cried, rode horses along the coast of Aruba and taken a tour of Venice in a gondola.
I’ve experienced true, earth-shattering happiness before, and yet nothing has made me as happy as achieving my goals.
Maybe that’s a sad thing to admit – the money I’ve spent, the countries I’ve traveled to and the people I’ve met pale in comparison to crossing a long term goal off of the list I keep on the desktop of my computer.
The grueling and draining hard work that I’ve experienced in my short 20 years of life amounts to more than some of my happiest moments.
Maybe it’s the American idealist in me. We’re often criticized as a country for overworking to the point of exhaustion and not taking the time to stop and smell the roses, for lack of a better term. Often, the goal is to work hard enough to have money that supposedly makes us happy.
But I don’t get much pleasure in working hard for monetary purposes. In fact, most of the work I do doesn’t involve compensation at all.
What makes me happy is the accomplishment. Being able to watch the work I’ve put in, the long hours I’ve spent and the dedication I’ve maintained turn into something I’ve dreamed of for a week or for my whole life makes me happier than money ever could.
That’s why university breaks are a mystery for me. Relaxing by the pool with a drink in hand is nice for a day, but any longer and I’m ready to break out my laptop and start working again.
If you were to ask me what I love, I’d say my friends, family, chocolate, wine, dogs, fashion and traveling.
If you were to ask what makes me happy or satisfied, my first answer would be my accomplishments.