“red petaled flowers during golden hour” by Derek Mack on Unsplash

How does one become happy? This obstacle is the biggest thing that every person will be faced with at some point in their lives. I know from personal experience that I have been faced with this, and to be truthfully honest, being unhappy is the worst feeling you can possibly have. As some of you already know, I started my own blog called 21st Finance. The purpose of 21st Finance is to help young people achieve the greatest feeling known to man, happiness, in every facet of life.

You may ask yourself, “What does unhappiness feel like?” As someone who has struggled immensely the past year, this is what it feels like to me.

#1: You hide a lot of things from people you care about.

#2: You get mad at the smallest things that the people you care about do.

#3: You struggle to understand what your calling and purpose are in life.

#4: You dread doing things you used to enjoy.

#5: You get angry at things that are out of your control.

The list for this can go on and on, but I think you get the point. The whole situation is defined by the way you feel, act, and how you think of yourself. I’ve researched a lot on this topic for not only my personal gain, but to help others achieve the goal of 21st Finance, to teach other people it is possible to become happy.

I’m not sure how many of you will read this, but those of you that do, please understand I have been in your situation. I’ve came a long way in this past year, and for awhile I never thought my situation was going to get better. Trust me. The journey to becoming happy is just that. It is a journey, and you know the old cliched statement, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” With that being said, here are a couple of things that I did that made my situation better.

#1: Do something you love and not worry about what others will think of you.

The biggest dream in my life is to create something that not only impacts me, but can someday impact millions of people. I started my website, podcast, and social media platforms to uplift people. I may not be the best writer, podcast producer, or social media manager, but if I can even make another person smile, I will get the utmost satisfaction.

If that passion of yours is music, art, or writing, go for it. You have to be willing to make the bet on yourself that you can achieve anything. People are going to think whatever you are doing is a joke. I have been criticized to the ends of the Earth that my website is stupid, my podcast sucks, and that I am wasting my time. I have been in your situation. Shit, my parents have even said what I am doing is a waste of time. When people say things like this about your passionate pursuits, just understand it is them trying to overcome their own insecurities. If someone is going to belittle whatever it is you are working on, just know that you have taken the biggest bet on yourself and put your ass on the line for the most important person in your life, yourself.

#2: Achieve Self-Awareness

I’ve always been searching for what my purpose is on this Earth, and I am still searching to this day. One specific tool that I found helped me gain a better understanding of who I am is discovering my personality. Most people have a hard time understanding their mental makeup and the things that make them happy and miserable.

I found a website by the name of 16 Personalities. When someone thinks of personality websites, they think most of them are a scam. Most of them are a scam, but this one was different. When I took this test, I was skeptical at first. By providing the most sincere answers I possibly could, I was able to understand my strengths, weaknesses, and fears.

When the test was all said and done, my personality type was Protagonist. My personality type showed me that I am an extremely passionate person, who is always looking toward the future. It also told me that I while I am a reliable person, I can be too selfless at times. It says that while I look to help people a lot, I don’t spend a lot of time taking care of myself. There was one statement from this website that stood out to me immensely.

From: 16 Personalities

ENFJs define their self-esteem by whether they are able to live up to their ideals, and sometimes ask for criticism more out of insecurity than out of confidence, always wondering what they could do better. If they fail to meet a goal or to help someone they said they’d help, their self-confidence will undoubtedly plummet.

Reading this statement described me in a nutshell. Self-awareness is the key here, and by understanding your true personality, you can work on your shortcomings.

#3: Get your finances in order

“Money doesn’t achieve happiness.” I totally agree with this statement, but understand this. With approximately 80% of people in debt, nearly everyone needs to get their money in line. While you may believe buying that nice pair of shoes, that nice car, or the latest and greatest in technology will help you, the benefits of these purchases are short lived. The short term gains of buying something you want do not last. I believe that you should make purchases that create lasting memories, as no one will die remembering the vehicle they had or the cool pair of jeans that they owned. A big influence of mine is Gary Vaynerchuk, and this video is absolutely perfect for the point I am trying to make.

Owned by Vaynermedia

By creating a budget for yourself, and buying the things that you truly need, you will be able to dwindle away any debt that you have.

#4: Setbacks should be seen as setups

I had the opportunity to interview the CEO of a major sports marketing company, David Meltzer. The one big lesson he told me is by expressing gratitude and doing good for other people, you set yourself up. He told me that every challenge you are faced with in life should be seen as an opportunity. Nearly every person doesn’t worry about your struggles, because they are dealing with their own problems. If you are able to see challenges as opportunities, you gain a ton of psychological muscle. When you get to that point where you don’t make excuses, and overcome those challenges, you will be uplifted. When you defeat those challenges and get to that place of happiness, you will reflect on the journey. That reflection is one of the most fulfilling aspects of becoming happy.

Happiness is a long, winding road and by taking steps everyday, you can get to that place. You will get to that place.

Love you all.

-JP