Find light in every step along the way.
I feel like I’ve been chasing happiness for much of my adult life. I’d try to cling to amazing moments whenever they happened.
Those moments when I laughed so hard with friends that no sound came out. Those moments of falling in love with someone new. Those moments of finally reaching a goal I’d been working towards for years.
I cherished those moments. I’ll never forget them. I remember feeling so happy that I wasn’t dwelling on the past or worried about the future. In those moments, I didn’t think anything could bring me back down.
What was it about those times? What is it about any time that you feel true joy and don’t let stress, guilt, or looming responsibilities get in the way?
It took me some time to figure it out for myself, but I found that in those moments of happiness, I was grateful and completely focused on the present moment.
Worry creeps into our minds when we think about all of the negative possibilities in our future. Rent is due next week and I have to work every shift in order to pay all my bills. My big presentation is in two days and I still have so much to do before it’s finished.
Instead of worrying about what may or not come to pass, just decide what needs to be done so that the negatives don’t happen. Keep your attention on each moment and make sure that you’re taking the necessary steps to stay on track.
Don’t allow your mind to worry. It only holds you back from being as productive as you need to be. When you’re hard at work, it doesn’t leave a lot of energy for worrying.
Ruminating on your past is just as detrimental to your happiness as worrying. Guilt and self-pity occur when we dwell on the past failures in our lives. The past is over.
Maybe you didn’t get that promotion you were hoping for but you need to move on and move forward. Continuing to think about how unfair life is for you will not change the outcome.
What can you do today that will make you a better candidate for future promotions? Focus on the here and now. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?
Find happiness in the journey to get to where you want to be.
If you stop expecting happiness to be this thing that you’ll eventually get to, then it’ll be easier to find it right now. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. The light is shining now.
When I finally allowed myself to live in the present, I had less stress and worry. I could focus my attention on a current conversation or whatever task I was working on.
I could appreciate the time I spent with friends and family more when I didn’t allow my mind to wander to the past or the future.
I stopped expecting my happiness to only come during extraordinary moments like vacations, birthdays, job changes, or big bonuses. Once I started to look for it in my everyday routine, I found it almost every time.
Happiness isn’t supposed to be chased. It’s supposed to be lived. In order to be happy in each moment, you need to find gratitude.
What are you grateful for? What made you smile today? Even during hard times, there is always something to be grateful for.
We often take most things for granted and that’s how we lose our joy. We become entitled to everything we’ve got, so it’s hard to feel happy with something that we expect to always be a part of our lives.
Realize that friends aren’t automatic. You have to work to maintain those friendships and you should feel lucky that they choose to stay in your life.
You may have worked hard for the roof over your head, but take a moment to appreciate the fact that you have a safe, warm home. Not everyone can say that. You’re fortunate.
You’re making an income every month. You can afford to buy food and some luxuries. You have a computer or a tablet or a smartphone to read this on. You’re being a productive member of society.
You’re winning at life. Maybe you’re not quite where you want to be yet, but you’re doing well. You’re surviving. Take a moment to be happy about all of the good things in your life.
When we express gratitude, it’s hard not to feel good. Feeling grateful is a good reminder of all the things we’ve taken for granted.
Happiness is today, not tomorrow. We are only promised right now, so why not try to find the good in every moment. Stop waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel. Who says you’ll even get there?
Life is short and a long life isn’t promised. So be grateful for right now. Choose to be happy. It’s always the better choice.