How to be happy?

As a kid, I spent the majority of my childhood playing action adventure video games. I used to go outside, but then my parents put a screen in front of me. Ever since then, my idea of “adventure” has been virtual and consequently, my eyesight has become like that of a hawk’s. A blind hawk. Staring into a screen will do that to you.

Mountain Biking in Winter

Your childhood should not be a recollection of commercials. Here are 3 tips on how to spend the days of your youth (and have an adventure):

How to Be Happy 1: Building Blanket Forts

Materials needed: blankets, pillows, chairs and imagination

The construction process is fun, but the best part about building blanket forts is the storyline that follows. As kids, our imaginations are free to run wild, until reality and burdens tie us down. My first fort, for example, was a home. I had imaginary furniture. My sister’s fort – I mean house — was next door. She would sometimes visit to catch up. Make use of all these thoughts, ideas and sparks of brilliance before the well that is your adult mind runs dry.

How to Be Happy 2: Collecting Scars

Materials needed: fearlessness and carelessness

Scars are stories. I have two stories on my right knee. They are emblematic of an embarked adventure: a mission accomplished or a mission failed. I have a permanent bruise on each knee from when I learned how to ride a bicycle. In addition, I have an indent underneath my chin from the time I fought with my best friend. I kicked her in the eye; she swung a chair at me (true story). Unfortunately, the likelihood of getting a scar is inversely proportional to your age. Try to collect as many as you can while you can.

How to Be Happy 3: Absorbing Knowledge

Materials needed: books, books, and books

It’s possible to travel around the world without ever leaving the house. Also, it’s possible to know the history of an event without ever having been there. And, it’s impossible, on the other hand, to know too much. I wish I had spent more time reading as a kid because knowledge is the most undervalued possession. It is the foundation of understanding, acceptance, creativity, passion, and curiosity.

That’s why, if I could travel back in time, I would spend more of my days doing all of the above – especially building blanket forts. Growing up has forced us all to invest in real furniture. How unfortunate.

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