It's getting to that time of year again when many high school and college seniors, who have put in a lot of work to get where they are, start doing stupid things and leave those around shaking their heads wondering what the hell went wrong. Every year on the last day of class, I give my seniors the following speech before they run off for their keggers and hedonistic pursuits:
There is a difference between "happiness" and "fun". Fun is fleeting. Happiness is enduring. Fun is the moment and can leave you feeling empty when it ends. Happiness fills you and stays with you even after the moment is gone. Fun requires little or no effort. Happiness requires work to build and maintain, and no drug, car, or amount of money can make you happy. Money makes things easier, but happiness comes from pride, respect, and a sense of accomplishment.
*Keep yourself busy – boredom will foster self-contempt.
*Make yourself proud – be the kind of person you would like to be friends with.
*Be curious – sometimes it’s easy to sit back and be cynical but a curious mind will be an open and happier mind.
If you seek fun, you will NOT find happiness. If you seek happiness, very likely you will find fun along the way.