|Source: Politics & Prose-|
I believe in the cliche life is a highway and then add Tom Cochrane's line, I want to ride it all night long. On the highway of life ( to use a another cliche ) you make a lot of turns, stops, you accelerate, you stop for gas and just to get a bite to eat and get some rest.
Imagine driving from Washington to Los Angeles in a cross-country trip. Ordinary if you don't run into bad weather, car trouble, have any major accidents, decide to go for a joy ride after getting loaded one night on one of your stops in St. Louis let's say, and you're a good driver, this cross-country trip should take you about 7-10 days. Well, imagine your life being a a cross-country trip or a trip around the world but it takes you about 80 years ( give or take ) instead and not because of car trouble or any of the other factors that I just mentioned.
That is what life is which is a very long journey if you live a normal life in years. And on that journey you're going to have a lot of ups and downs. Richard Nixon once said that he wanted to die with at least one more victory than defeat. Well, hopefully life for you will be a lot better than that and the best thing about this is that you have complete control over your own life once you move out from your parents and start driving on your own highway of life with the ability and freedom to make your own decisions. But even before you move out from your parents as a young adult you still have a lot of freedom to make your own highway and ability to decide what that journey will be for you.
Do you finish high school, to use as an example. Do you do well in high school which allows for you do be able to go to college. If you go to college, do you do well in college. Do you stay out of trouble as a youth or get into trouble on a regular basis. These are all choices that we make as children, adolescents, young adults, full adults, and moving forward. It's up to us to make either good decisions or bad decisions with our own lives and then we have to live with the consequences of our own decisions for good and bad, or for in-between.
In a free society like a liberal democracy like America, we all have choices that we make in life. The question is what kind of choices do we make. If you have not just a habit of making good choices like you just happen to be very lucky and perhaps you should take that luck to Atlantic City or Las Vegas, but you tend to make good choices and decisions because you've decided to based on good information and facts instead of flipping a coin, drawing straws, you're going to be happy in life. At least compared with a screwup who acts on impulse, or doesn't care about anyone other than them self, perhaps lost their brain somewhere and never went back to look for it.
To achieve happiness in life you have to figure out what makes you happy. What you're good at and what you want out of life. And then make the right decisions to accomplish those things. Instead of sitting on your ass and expecting happiness to pick you up off your couch or getting lucky. The ultimate investment in life is your own life. The more you put into it, the more you'll get back and the happier you'll be. You only get out if your investments what you put in them.