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I was in my second year in high school when I heard two teachers talking about what they did for their class on that day. They were handling senior classes and one of the teachers shared that he asked his class what they want to be when they grow up. Most of the students answered various professions like teachers, doctors, lawyers, businessmen, and among others.

But one answer stopped the teacher on his tracks.

An intelligent student wants that she only wants to be happy.

Some of the students, mostly boys, give her a boisterous laugh and make fun of her. A few of them become pensive. While others scratch their heads, not knowing what to make out of what the town mayor’s daughter just said.

I myself was puzzled by her answer. Anyone can become happy at any given moment, I said to myself. She is well-off, pretty and has a happy family. I am sure happiness was not an issue in her life.

Or anyone on that matter.

For me, happiness is an easy path and doesn’t take much effort.

The Awakening

Fast-forward seven years later, I was living a life that is far from happy. I have a very stressful job in a non-government organization. Though it gave me lots of opportunities to help others, the frequent all-nighters and out-of-town trips drained my energy.

Life at home was no better either. We owned a small eatery and it was on the verge of being bankrupt. My parents are always fighting over money. I dread of going home for fear of what problem would welcome me.

This time, happiness is just a faraway dream for me.

One day, I was reading Tim Ferriss’ book “The 4-Hour Work Week.” As I flip through the pages, I feel angry towards the author. I was angry because I feel trapped in an unhappy life. And here is Tim Ferriss talking about freedom and all the good things that had come into his life all because he made the decision to live a happy and fulfilling life.

I closed the book with a loud thud that even our pet cat who was sleeping beside my feet woke up. She looked up at me with a puzzled look but went back to her nap. I had a fleeting thought of hurling to the closest wall.