I hear this all of the time, “When x happens I’m going to be happy.” The problem with this statement is that happiness is going to be in the future, it’s not happening right now.
Too often we wait for something that is going to make us happy. Why don’t we instead look for things that can make us happy today?
Do you live in the past?
I know a lot of people who pine about what’s happened to them in the past. They complain about how things could have been and wonder why things aren’t better today.
Too often they continue doing the same thing and expecting a different result. In some places this action considered insanity. I hope you’re not one who lives in the past. The only thing that the past is good for is learning lessons on what to do differently next time around.
Do you live in the future?
There are parts of the future that are useful. There’s also a danger with living in the future. You forget to live today.
I know too many people who are looking forward to something that’s going to happen tomorrow. I can’t wait till I turn sixteen so I can drive. I can’t wait till I graduate from college. I can’t wait till I can drink legally and so on. When our life is about I can’t wait, we forget to enjoy where we are.
The challenge with this is one day you wake up and find out you’re sixty years old and you’ve been waiting for things your entire life. Stop waiting for things to happen, enjoy what’s happening today.
What about now?
This is where I like to live. This is where good things happen. This is all that we really have.
If you learn to live in the present you are enjoying your life as it happens. You’re not worried about what happened yesterday and you’re not anticipating what’s going to happen tomorrow. You get to experience your life and those around you. You get to enjoy the company of others and not wish you were someplace else.
It might take you a little practice to get good at this. I can tell you the more time I spend being present the better friend I am and the more enjoyable my life is.
This isn’t a rehearsal for your life.
I know you’ve heard this saying more times than you want to admit. It happens to be true. Waiting for something to happen isn’t living your life. Wishing your life to be different isn’t living your life. Stop rehearsing and start living.
It’s nice to have anticipation. It’s also nice to enjoy the trip. If you only focus on where you want to be you’re forgetting to notice and enjoy what’s happening as you move through life. This is my main problem with goals. We sometimes forget to notice today and only focus on the goal. We achieve the goal and then it’s on to the next goal. All anticipation and no living your life today is no way to be.
What will make your life better?
This is the real question. You want to know what is going to make your life better. You’re going to want to know what changes you need to make that will make your life better.
I think it’s a good idea to include others in this conversation. Try this out, ask you significant other what you can do to make their life better. Tell them what you’re going to do to make your own life better. I bet this would be an interesting conversation.
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