By Celeste Alvarado

Age 17

To many, The world can appear to be an endless desert of madness, confusion and oppression. Often times, emotionally overwhelmed beings influence one another, whether intentional or not, making it difficult for some to walk the true path to liberation. Obstacles and illusions can strike one down, leaving one depressed, pessimistic and angered. However, there is a beautiful reassurance in the idea that this state need not be permanent, unless you allow it to be. By viewing things with a different mindset we can better understand ourselves and change our outlook to a more positive one.

Many people look for happiness in the form of mindless greed, the glorification of the self, and from the acceptance from others. But there are others still who search for happiness in the form of love and peace. However, an of violence, fear and power rules the world today, leaving very little space for the heart, mind and soul to grow to its full potential. By learning to acknowledge and determine our emotions, we can begin the journey to seek happiness.

A key belief to remember is that happiness begins from within the self. By taking a moment of introspection and evaluation of the self and writing down positive and negative attributes, one can better understand oneself. Remember, self-acceptance is the key; not-self torment.

A suggestion would be to find a passion in everyday life that makes nobody but you content, defines your identity, and keeps your self-motivation running wild. If you have no clue as to what you enjoy doing, then try to keep your options and your mind open; you never know what you could find in the unknown. Never let your inner demons convince you that you’re worthless. Eliminate all these negative emotions completely for one moment. Take a seat and try to remember a time where motivation or happiness struck you at its very best, thoroughly analyze how you felt. What motivated you? Didn’t you feel powerful? Now channel that energy into positive emotion.

Change is one of the only things in the universe that is constant. Change can be frightening or exciting at times, depending on how you perceive it. Your comfort zone is what stops you from exploring the world. Letting go of fear and anxiety can have a tremendously positive effect on how you perceive the world. The art of mental modification can lure you into a whole different world, a world of endless possibilities, and self enlightenment.