Henzel Gapay loves to smile. That is her mission. That is her passion. So, she is sharing to everybody and encouraging everybody to do the same. Smiling should be an easy task and not a menial chore to do; however life has it that it can be daunting to give one smile to yourself or to someone else especially when you feel that the world is on your shoulders. This is where Henzel comes in to the rescue. Henzel wants to make people smile. She wants people to be happy and give each other some “smiles”. She is behind the Happiness Project, which is full of happy thoughts and reasons to make her readers smile. She inspired many readers to do the same and hopes to reach out to more people.
For today’s success story, I would like you to get to know her, her own happiness and how she continues to share the joy of making people smile. And while you are reading her story, I would like you to smile and think how your smile can make someone’s day.
This is her happy story:
AMS: Tell us about yourself. Your education, training and where you are currently involved in.
Henzel: I am a 23 year old lady from the Philippines. I graduated from De La Salle Manila last 2010 with degrees on European Studies and Advertising. My first job was under a real estate company, Megaworld Corporation, where I worked for a year as a property consultant that mainly involved sales and marketing of properties. I started blogging when I was in college and I tried to continue it even when I was working. Aside from that, I loved dancing and I used to do workshops. Right now, I ended my contract with Megaworld Corporation and I’m trying to explore more opportunities especially on the field of events.
AMS: Growing up, did you always dream of becoming who you are today?
Henzel: I never imagined my life today. I grew up in a broken family. I spent some of my years with my mother and some with my father’s family, right now I’m staying with my grandmother and I just see my parents once in a while. Back when I was a kid, I wanted to become a teacher. But when I was starting to grow up, I realized that I really wanted to work for United Nations. I know right now that I’m far from reaching it but I’m just doing the best way I can to achieve it. I’m starting to save money so I can have a masters degree on European Studies, and maybe get a shot on working for United Nations and the like. I know, some weird dream I have.
AMS: Who or what inspired you to start the Happiness Project? Why Happiness?
Henzel: The story of my Happiness Project started 2010. Growing up, I was never really the happy person and I didn’t grow up with an overflowing of love and affection around me. Right before I started it, I was actually battling depression, I used to hurt myself pretty bad then I thought I was dying. Luckily, I just woke up one day and realized that I want to make people happy. I want to blog about my life and how hard I try to make it work. Maybe on the other end of the screen is some girl experiencing the same way and I hope she finds my blog and know that she’s not alone on this.
Believe it or not, Happiness is not an easy thing to blog about but I think it’s the most important thing. At the end of the day, people just want to be happy, buy things that can make them happy or be with the people that make them happy.
AMS: Could you please tell us what the mission of the Happiness Project?
Henzel: The mission of the Happiness Project is to inspire people and to give them hope. I share my life to them, every heartache and suffering, and I make sure that I leave a valuable lesson every after post. The happiness project was meant for people to make their own happiness project as well. A wise man once said that happiness is contagious. I wanted the project to be contagious. It wasn’t just my happiness project, it was their own. The learning that they get and the happiness that I was able to give them, that was what the Happiness Project is all about.
AMS: What are some of the greatest achievement that you’ve had with this project?
Henzel: The Smile for Henzel project. I was experiencing a very bad ailment at that time and I was losing hope on everything. Two of my followers decided to make a video of it wherein people sent their warmest smiles. It was very moving and I know that my happiness project was a success just to see a lot of them smiling.
**Check out the video here:
AMS: In building your blog as well as your Facebook page, who were your support system? Who are/were your motivators?
Henzel: My support system was mainly my followers. They were basically my source of inspiration. The Facebook page was made so they can reach me and share their stories as well. I get a lot of messages from young girls losing hope and I try my best to just be there for them and give them some advice on how they can look at the world with more sunshine.
AMS: If, you were to tell us what are the most important skills you need in order to be successful in life- what are they?
Henzel: You have to be very positive. I noticed how the happiness project was able to help in my career. People just really need to be very positive on whatever comes their way. Giving up is not an option. You also have to be very goal-oriented. Your goals motivate and inspire you to do great on your craft. And smiling, no matter how bad the situation is, you just give yourself sometime to smile and be thankful for the things that you have in your life.
AMS: Can you share some of your tips in staying happy and being good at it?
Henzel: Happiness is a choice. It’s what your heart wants. People remain sad because they can’t let go of the things that make them sad. Instead of focusing on the things that make us sad, we should dwell on the things to be grateful for. Doing good to others is also a happy feeling. When you know that what you’re doing in your life is also helping other people, you can’t help but feel happy about your life. Being happy is also accepting change. You have to make every moment last.
AMS: Do you think you are being happy? How do you stay happy all the time? What are the ingredients to a happy life?
Henzel: Don’t get me wrong, I am not always happy. I cry when I need to cry and feel sad when I’m sad. It’s part of the healing process. You need to learn from the bad things that will happen in your life. I just don’t consider the bad things as suffering, I consider them as a lesson. That God is trying to make me a better and stronger person. He won’t give me hardships that I can’t handle. It helps to have great faith as well and your love for mankind.
AMS: What are your next goals for your project? How about for yourself?
Henzel: I had to stop my happiness project for awhile. All these years I’ve been trying to make other people happy and I just needed some time do focus on myself on what makes me happy. I don’t want to hide behind a fake smile and I want to be able to share genuine happiness. So what I’m doing right now is focusing on the things that make me happy, by then I can share the happiness to the world again. It’s okay to rest, as long as you’re not quitting. So I just said to my followers that I’ll see them later, no goodbyes.
AMS: How do you achieve balance between your regular work and your project?
Henzel: I check my blog every other day, I make sure to reply to all my messages and try to help everyone as much as I can. I usually get more blogging time during night time right before I sleep.
AMS: Finally, what is your definition of success.
Henzel: Success is waking up every morning feeling grateful for yesterday, no regrets. Success is having enough money, not for yourself but for the people you love and the people who needs them the most. Success is being contended on your position in life. Success is being happy no matter what.
AMS: Do you think success commensurate with happiness?
Henzel: I think that happiness commensurate success. The more you feel happiness, the more you feel that your life is a success