“Money can’t buy you happiness” is a popular quote that makes its way around the block more often than it should have to. While personally, I believe that it’s more comfortable to cry in a mansion than in a wooden shack by the beach, there’s no denying that there is some truth in the saying. More often than not, we move through life like products on a conveyor belt, sticking to our comfort zones and following the imaginary instruction manuals in our minds on how to get through life via the safest and easiest routes. But while doing so, we tend to miss out on the smaller joys in life which are just as valuable as the big ones.

People always think that in order to be happy, something remarkable and life-changing has to happen first, you know; kind of like the Bergens from that Trolls movie (I’m trying to sound all blasé about it and act like I didn’t sob constantly during the first three times of watching it). But if I learned one thing from that movie (I’m trying to play it cool again. I learned plenty from it!) it’s that happiness can be found anywhere and from almost anything if you look hard enough. It’s great to have goals in life but as one of the greatest entertainers of our time once said, “it’s the cliiiiiimb” that really matters.

Happiness is a state of mind, so sing along to that song you know by heart, sing it with gusto; revel in the amazing fact that you’ve memorized all the lyrics and that you know the exact moment when the beat drops. Eat a delicious meal and rave about it for hours after because your tummy is happy and full and it’s just about time for a nap. Play with all the babies you come across (if you like babies, that is), laugh at their toothless grins even when they drool all over the sleeves of your new top. Because every time you meet them, they’ll be slightly older than when you last saw them, and also because babies grow up really fast.

Compliment someone and tell someone they look nice, even if they’ve worn that same top hundreds of times before, just because it might give them a reason to smile on a day when it’s hard to find one. Say hi to your fuel attendant/waiter/cashier before saying anything else so they feel more like humans and not like automated robots. Make someone laugh and watch as their opinion of you changes as you make their day just that little bit more bearable. Walk around your house at seven in the morning, make yourself a cup of your favourite drink, breathe in the fresh air and absorb the morning light… then go back to sleep right after because you can (in case you haven’t realized, I really love sleeping).

I won’t go all the way and tell you to smell the roses because this isn’t a hallmark card and, realistically speaking, no one has the time or energy to go to the florist or into their garden just to smell a bunch of plants. However, I am saying that being happy doesn’t have to be a complicated procedure complete with elaborate gestures, it can be as simple as being grateful for something that was already there to begin with. As the wise troll Princess Poppy once said, “Happiness isn’t something you put inside, it’s already there”.

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Jazreel
"I'm the writer your mother warned you about." A modern South East Asian girl who's ahead of her time and currently in the midst of self-rebranding. Plans on being a lazy, entitled, money-driven millennial even when she's seventy. A perfect combination of all four Golden Girls, her fruit equivalent would be a spicy strawberry.