How Choosing Happiness Changed My Life

Make happiness your priority

Growing up in America with hard-working immigrant parents, all you think about is doing better. However, a lot of the time what makes you better, or makes you money is not what makes you happy. From a young age, I decided I was going to go to UCLA and become a lawyer because that would be better, make my parents proud, and most importantly make me a lot of money. But would that lead to happiness?

As I completed goals and checked things off my list I realized that none of it really made me happy. I graduated top of my high school class and got accepted into my dream school, UCLA. I went to UCLA and did it all in hopes of being better but in my last year, I realized I was not happy. So I decided to study abroad, leave for Europe for a few months and see what happened.

The 8 months I spent in Europe taught me that happiness should be my top priority. In this post, I will share with you how choosing happiness changed my life and why you should also make it a priority.

I stopped doing things that did not make me happy

In the past, I would do things regardless of whether they made me happy or not. If it made my parents happy it was good enough. If it got me a good grade it was good enough. If it got me money it was good enough.

But not anymore, if it did not make me happy it was off the list.

I let go of people that did not make me happy

We all have that aunt or uncle or even parent in our life that just does not make us happy. Sometimes it’s because they are always pointing out the negatives and not focusing on the positives. They do not support who we are and what we stand for.

I decided to let go of all the people that brought negative energy into my life. Not having to worry about what those individuals had to say about my life definitely made me a happier person.

I let go of thoughts that did not make me happy

By letting go of people that did not make me happy I also let go of unhappy thoughts. I let go of old grudges.

Let’s be honest being angry with someone only makes us angry people. It stops all the happy energy and positive vibes from flowing into our lives. I also let go of negative thoughts that were directed towards others and myself.

In choosing to be happy you are making yourself a priority therefore be kind to yourself.

“Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love” — Don Miguel Ruiz

I stopped pursuing goals that did not make me happy

A lot of my life goals revolved around money, big houses, and expensive cars. That is what I believed would make me better and in turn, make me happy. I let go of all those goals.

In the beginning, I did feel lost. Everything that I thought I wanted was no longer on my list. With time I found myself and made goals that made me happy and as I accomplish those goals I become happier.

I followed the path that made me happy

A lot of people ask me why I am in Europe and when am I coming back to America.

The honest answer is “I am happy here”.

Many people see America as a dreamland. Where all your goals and aspirations can become a reality. I no longer saw it that way. After living in Europe for a few months I fell in love with the European mindset and way of life.

In America, if you do not work at least 2 or 3 jobs you do not make enough money and you cannot be happy. There is not a big focus on the quality of life.

Now that I am a mother I hope to pass down this mentality to my children. I hope they also choose happiness. Making myself and my happiness has been the best decision I have made


If you have any questions or simply want to chat let’s connect! Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

Ana Vela's photo

I've never lived abroad, but I think that experience gives you distance to reflect and see the world in a new light. Lovely post!

Brenda Michelle's photo

Thank you Ana! Living Abroad and just traveling, in general, has changed my way of thinking and my priority list. I value happiness, family, time spent with those we love more than physical/material things. Before it was the complete opposite.

Dinys Monvoisin's photo

I believe that going abroad and living in another is a challenge everyone should take to grow and have a different perspective on life. This is how I feel when moving to Australia.

Reading your post, I could not identify what your goal is? Would you mind sharing your goal? Being happy is an emotion, what are the things that trigger it?