Upon reading the aforementioned quote from Henry David Thoreau, I came to a sudden realization that I’ve been living by his philosophy for years. Whenever a friend is in need of relationship advice, I tell them: “Stop forcing happiness. Just have some patience and let things happen naturally.” That’s not to say that I’m a sappy hopeless romantic either—this can apply to anything, really. With enough patience and optimism, I firmly believe that positivity can eventually gravitate towards you.
Going back to the romantic connotation of the quote for a second, I’ve seen some great success in this method. Coming to college single, curious, and ready for whatever life throws at me, I decided to (attempt to) come out of my shell a bit more. I’d go to freshman events, I’d join groups of people, and I’d work up the courage to approach individuals and start up a conversation. This “social streak” didn’t last very long though. I quickly gave up and retreated to the safety of my room. Then one day I decided I’d at least attend a movie night in my residence hall with a small group of people. Little did I know that I’d meet my future girlfriend there. Just when I stopped searching for a better social life and friend groups, I find someone who would bring me unimaginable happiness for one year and counting.
Gushy romance aside, Thoreau’s philosophy can be applied to other areas of life such as my future career, for instance. This school year, I’ve applied to several summer internship programs around the state. Anyone who’s applied for a job or internship knows how nerve-racking the wait is. Will I get in? Do I have enough experience? Did my cover letter convey my passion thoroughly enough? These are questions I often found asking myself in the process. As the weeks go by, I get rejected from one program after another. As hope fades, I decide to let go of my stress and leave things to chance. Stress won’t increase my odds, so why bother? Just let it happen naturally.
Whether it’s romance, careers, family, or friendships, patience is key in developing strong bonds and achieving amazing opportunities. Some things can be chased; but others will find their way to us in time.