If You See Me, Ask Me If I Am Happy Before You Ask Me What I Do For A Living

Mental Health

 

By Kyle Stephenson, A Millennial

 

Have you noticed that among the first two or three questions someone asks when they meet you is what you do?

Most of my life, I have always wanted to answer that question by saying that I was an attorney, accountant, doctor or some other professional like some of my family members.  So I went to college and decided to do pre-law. After all, law was an area that was discussed frequently in my household.

And when I was asked the questions about what I do, I would proudly respond that I was a pre-law student.

Well I think it probably took a few concussions to help me figure out that I was fooling myself about what I really wanted to do with my life.  

Let me explain.  I used to be in good shape until I got my third concussion. The first two were sports related but the third one occurred when I was walking down the stairs at my college. Someone behind me slipped and I fell forward.  At that time I figured that the stars were not aligned in my favor because I had avoided all contact sports after my first two concussions and just focused on my individual workouts. And then this happened!

So I had to be sedentary because you can’t workout with migraines.  I played a lot of video games and became obese and depressed. I was not happy with my life.  

I even tried drugs like  alcohol, tobacco, vyvanse, (all which I will talk about in another article), to make me less depressed and happy.  They all worked for a short period and then I went back to being unhappy and depressed when I wasn’t taking them. And when I wasn’t taking them I could not function. I stayed away from family and friends and stayed to myself.  So what this meant is that I would have to keep using these drugs all the time to get that happy feeling I was trying to have. I couldn’t really function or move forward in life as a normal happy person.

Looking back now with a clear mind, a better way to have taken care of my problems would have been to figure out how to be happy without using drugs while at the same time find a purpose for my life that was not scripted by society.

To be honest, I am truly happy now because I improved my nutrition and became  more physically active. I even get a ‘high’ from physical exercise.

It also looks like my discovery about finding happiness with good nutrition and exercise is not only my personal opinion. For example, this website discusses a bunch of studies which suggest that both exercise and good nutrition are important when it comes to  beating obesity, depression, unhappiness and addiction.

So being happy is very important to my well being and survival. And I believe that it is only after I  became happy with myself that I was able to really figure out what I truly want to do with my life. Being happy allows me to choose a career that will KEEP me happy.  

In my case, I want to share my happiness and make other people happy by encouraging them to focus more on being active and eating healthy.

One of my favorite all time quotes is from Heath Ledger. And it goes like this:

“Everyone you meet always asks if you have a career, are married or own a house as if life was some kind of grocery list.  But no one asks if you are happy.”

And I have a personal quote too.

“People assess you based on what you do as opposed to how you feel about what you do.”

I am truly at that place where I feel good about what I am doing with my life. So next time time you see me, before asking me what I do, first ask me how I feel about what I do. Ask me if I am happy!



Kyle Stephenson is a 25 year old young adult who overcame addiction and obesity and has dedicated his life to helping others do the same.

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