Throughout the course of our schooling, the 13 years is a time of constant change and growth. It’s a time for learning, whether it’s a spelling quiz or periodic table, we learn a lot. But more importantly its what we learn about ourselves that shapes us into who we are when we leave the gates for the last time.
Making the most of life and connecting with the environment around you is essential for one’s mental and physical health. Doing what you love and are inspired by are what motivates you. This is where people find true happiness and satisfaction.
In High School, amongst my peer group and the teenage demographic as a whole, I noticed a lack of creativity, imagination, and enjoyment of an everyday level. I believe that one of the main reasons for this may be that technology and networking has consumed many teenage brains, taking up time and draining creativity from talented young people.
I noticed that people prefer to ‘play it safe’ all too often and don’t fulfil their desires or have motivation because of insignificant issues that stand in the way. For example, I witnessed girls not wanting to go in the ocean on a hot day because they had previously washed their hair or got their nails done and would prefer to sit isolated on their phones than enjoy spending time in nature and partake in fun and healthy activities with their friends.
Excuses and reasons
These excuses are the exact reasons that continuously prevent people from everyday excitement and happiness that comes in simple things.
As I have been noticing this more frequently, I have identified that my personal happiness and satisfaction is becoming more important to me. Since finishing school, we have truthfully lost the inclination to fulfil people’s expectations and don’t channel our thoughts around trying to follow trends or ‘fit in.’ Continuously conforming to society’s expectations limits our creativity and originality.
I believe that true happiness is found when you spend your time discovering who you are and what you stand for, rather than what you have and what people think of you. By spending more time doing things we enjoy, we are able to come in touch with our own personal values on a deeper level. This has resulted in a feeling of freedom and has developed healthier more passionate thoughts.
Motivation and productivity
We can begin to feel motivated resulting in productivity. This is because we are spending less time trying to fulfil other people’s expectations and more time doing things that we enjoy and enhance wellbeing. We begin to discover that people respond better and feel more comfortable with someone who they feel is genuine and humble rather than someone who gives off artificial energy.
Following trends is a way people ‘play it safe’ in the sense that individuals feel comfortable in a uniform or a certain attire that is similar to everyone else’s to lessen the fear of being judged for their originality or taste, as being open and sharing one’s own true tastes may put them in a vulnerable position. It saddens me to think that people are too narrow-minded, following one safe path through life with closed eyes.
Not being open-minded enough to find beauty in new or unconsidered concepts. This is related to fashion, merchandises, music tastes, food tastes and trying new activities or immersing yourself in new environments.
You do you
Once finishing high school, we have discovered that the only way to find what you love and are passionate about is to follow what you believe in, do what inspires you regardless of what other people think. Don’t limit yourself. Have a free mind. Set goals and work towards achieving them. People who are unwilling to do the above things do not find true happiness, satisfaction or motivation.
Being proud of yourself and sharing your talents inspires others around you. I urge you to take the time to truly discover what it is that really matters to you, go after your desires and let nothing stand in your way.
As we leave the school gates behind and head into the real world, it’s important to remember to get outdoors, get your feet dirty, or jump in the ocean naked. Identify the things that aren’t serving you well and that are reducing your quality of life. Be prepared to have the courage to let them go.
Hugh Harris is a year 12 High School graduate, who is doing work experience with the Echonetdaily.