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Opinion Editorials

Stop waiting to “find yourself” to be happy

(OPINION EDITORIAL) There is an idea that one can only find true happiness with complete self-discovery. But, is that truly the key to happiness?

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The quest for self-discovery

While there are many ways one achieves success in life, there is an argument to be made that the ultimate success is happiness. There’s a notion that one cannot be completely successful in life until they’ve truly “discovered” themselves.

This suggests that, unless you know, without a shadow of a doubt, everything single thing you’ve been through, are going through, and will go through, you may not reach your full potential.

Come again?

If you found that sentence as convoluted to read as I found it to write, then it helps to aid in the point I’m about to make: this preconceived notion is false.

Now, that doesn’t mean that people who are very self-aware and know exactly who they are and what they want won’t find loads of success. What I’m saying is, people who may not have completely discovered themselves and their true potentials still have a chance at being successful.

Personality evolution

I don’t have any statistics over what “mindset of self-discovery” is more successful, so I can only speak from personal experience. I would say that, fundamentally, I have been the same Taylor I was when I was five. However, my personality, interests, and overall knowledge of life evolve every single day.

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With this in mind, I would be safe to assume that I may never discover myself 100 percent, as life is continuously changing. And, this doesn’t mean I won’t be successful at being happy.

A continuous process

I am, for the most part, a fairly happy individual. I have a lot to be thankful for, and am able to feel and appreciate that happiness, even though I have yet to fully discover myself.

And, I don’t know that I ever want to completely discover myself. I want for it to be a continuous process where I learn something new about myself everyday. I would never want for my intrapersonal relationship to equate to that of an old, stale marriage.

Keep surprising yourself

In the film “American Beauty,” Kevin Spacey states, “It’s a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself.” This, in my opinion, is crucial to life’s happiness.

There is little fun in knowing the entire end-game, and being able to surprise yourself is one of life’s greatest joys.


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Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.

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