What truly brings joy to my life? How can I organize my life to be in touch with that joy?

In my life, there are three major aspects: intellectual, physical, and emotional needs. When these three elements are in balance, I gradually start growing into a person capable of finding and experiencing the true joy of my life.

As a college student and as a part of a learning community, I see learning as a necessity. It is also a privilege to have the opportunity to be able to learn in an environment where a vast array of subjects is presented to me. My time here at Earlham is a time to explore and to develop my interest, my passion by employing the college’s resources. This is the step where I will build the base for my future life. I believe that I can utilize the knowledge I learn here at Earlham College to pursue my passion and to help others. To make the best out of the resources here, I need a healthy body. I have to follow a healthy diet, exercise regularly and have enough sleep. By staying fit, I can be more productive at studying.

In my opinion, social relations assist me to thrive and to utilize the best of my ability. The social relationships that I need are family and friends. My family is where I begin my journey as a person, where I first learn what is like to be loved or needed and know how to love and to care for others. Love is the base to build other characteristics. Thus, I see caring and loving my family as a top priority. While my family is important, friends also help to form a person. Every day, I meet new people, sometimes I make new friends. And those interaction is what contributes to my perspective on life. Gradually, they affect my way of acting too. My peers in Vietnam had somewhat pushed me to be the person I am today. When I saw their confidence, creativity, initiative, I thought to myself: I want to be like that too. Therefore, I stepped out of my comfort zone, try to surpass my old self. Then, I learned amazing facts about life, experienced warm feelings which can not be described by words.

In many ways, all aspect connects to each other. They enhance each other. However, recently, I have found religion, something which can further build-up my 3-important needs. I see religion as a way of living, a source for learning, a method to help everyone around you. It helps you balance intellectual, physical, and social needs. The religion that I am starting to practice is Buddhism. Through my mother’s practice, I saw how it could provide you the knowledge to help and interact with people.

While my three aspects are distinct, I believe ultimately those three all push me toward the nature of joy: helping others.

But to reach toward the nature of joy, I acknowledge a clear plan must be made. How to set a plan for a life of simplicity? There are certain things I need to pay attention to. Firstly, life is full of distractions, from technology, social standard, pressure. These distractions from time to time have led me astray from my path, push me into the mold that others accept. But simplicity must also start from within: what you think, what you believe. Others’ opinions should be taken into account when establishing your simplicity guideline, but they should not be the deciding factors. Thus, a balance between outside and inside opinions is needed to bring joy to my life.

Secondly, a life style starts from little habits. I have been trying to create beneficial habits, one at a time. A few habits which I have built: staying focus and committed; asking questions, looking, finding and understanding the core of a problem; eating right, exercising for a healthy body; opening up to people, but still staying true to yourself; taking care of others, helping those in need. These habits gradually become part of who I am. Now, I am trying to come up with new habits to practice.

Life is always changing. There are times when I walk in a new stage of my life. When my life goes into a transition, I will need to contemplate and figure out a new plan to keep my life balanced. At present, an important part of my life become almost detached. As I am studying in the United States, I am thousands of miles away from my family. The everyday family talks I used to take for granted now become much harder. Thus, I put a particular time on my weekly schedule to stay in contact with them.

In conclusion, the thing that truly brings joy to my life is helping people. However, in order to do this, I need to balance my intellectual, physical and emotional needs to develop myself into someone capable of helping others.