The Big What and Why

The happiest man in the world doesn’t have everything. He just knows what he wants.

There are questions that have been asked by many people since the beginning of time. They’re big what and why questions: why are we here and what are we supposed to do? These can be answered by finding what is most important in life. There are a million things constantly around us, trying to grab our attention. Open your phone for just one minute and you’ll have notifications from a dozen different apps. There are hours of expertly crafted content on news, Youtube, and all over the internet. Ads will pop up constantly. Drive around outside and you’ll see billboards, stores, people, lights, signs, and buildings. It never stops. Consider entertainment. There are hundreds of options including movies, books, and tv shows each with innumerable different genres. Social media and video games are limitless in their boundaries. Have some free time? Well there are a thousand different fun locations and scores of fun people to go to those places with. What are you ever going to choose? Where do you put your time and energy? What REALLY matters?

It isn’t a simple answer. In the end, it is different for every person. We all have different circumstances and personalities. But for the last fifteen years, I’ve spent a lot of time working on the answer to this paramount question: What matters most? Family, belief, and happiness are the most important things in life.

Family is an easy one. My family is a major part of me. I am so lucky to have the family I have. But some people don’t have a family like me. So in my mind, family can be a lot more than a dad, mom, husband, wife, brothers, sisters, daughters, sons. Family is people you love who love you. Family includes people you have a special bond with, regardless of how you are related. 

“It seems to me… that love is the most important thing in the world.”

But what makes family so special? It’s because you need people in your life. There is nothing worse than being truly alone. Having people with you who care about you and have your back is something you can’t buy. “War is not fought alone”. Families bring emotional support. When you are feeling down, inadequate, or unloved, your family can be there for you to hype you up and get you feeling better. Families provide times of fun. The fond memories you can collect with your family are priceless. Families help you feel important and give you a crucial sense of belonging. “This connection to fond memories, support in times of need, and unconditional love is the unique way that families can bring happiness, stress relief, and a sense of well-being.”

Next comes belief. When you think about belief, you probably think about religion. And that isn’t wrong, but belief can encompass much more. Belief includes your core values, ideas, goals, basically anything you hold on to that keeps you going. “Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at anytime and be yourself.” It’s really what makes you. 

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This is my religion and it is a major part of my personal beliefs. It is easily the most important part of my life. I am who I am because of it. The way I view the world, treat others, the reason I am always trying to improve, the reason I matter and everything I do matters, it’s all because of my faith. It brings me indescribable joy. It provides me with a family and happiness. That’s what belief is to me. But it is probably something different to you. Whatever it is, cling to it. Find your drive and your reasons. If you develop this belief, it will help you.

Finally, I am positive that we are here on Earth to have joy, to be happy, and to have fun. And we shouldn’t deny ourselves this happiness. But happiness is really broad. I don’t mean constantly partying and throwing caution to the wind. I do not mean ignoring responsibility and constantly chasing the appealing experiences the world can grant us. I am talking about healthy, wholesome joy. Joy that comes from good moments with good people. I find this happiness with family, with serving others, with pushing myself and reaching my goals. I love spending time with friends, going to amusement parks, playing games, and messing around. These are all fun. But there is a greater, more important happiness that we all should be striving for. Balance the fun and the responsibilities. Keep yourself in good places and surround yourself with people who will encourage and uplift you. In this way you will find happiness, real joy. 

Let’s be real here. Life is hard. And we cannot just wake up in the morning and suddenly have a great family, strong belief, and be constantly happy. Circumstances in our lives will hinder our progress. But we need to always be trying. My ultimate purpose in writing this is just to show what we should be striving for. Ignore the flashy, seemingly appealing things the temporary world has to offer: riches, fame, beauty. They are great, but will not have the same fulfilling effect on your soul. In the long run they will not enrich your life. 

So stick with your family. If you haven’t found them yet, start looking. Recognize and uphold your beliefs. If you haven’t found those, same thing, start looking! And work hard to find your happiness, don’t cheat yourself with some cheap fun. Find real joy. 

One thought on “The Big What and Why

  1. I really enjoyed your take on family, in that it is a bond that goes beyond blood. It can be a community or a group of tightly-knit friends, as long as you show each other support and unconditional love of any kind. I too also have very close friends who I consider family, despite only knowing them for a few years. The memories created and the experiences shared between friends is what can change that bond from friends into family.

    Liked by 1 person

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