Apologies to Annie
Too many people believe their lives would be more satisfying if only... The life you want is here, now, waiting for you to grab it. Too many of us waste our lives planning and hoping and dreaming about how wonderful our life would be...if only I can loss those extra pounds, if only I met the right person, if only I won the lottery. Dale Carnegie said it best; "One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon--instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today." We need to understand our happiness does not depend on other people, on fate, or on forces beyond our control. It is imperative to see just how wonderful your life is right now. If your focus is how great things will be in the future, you will be missing the opportunities being presented to you today. By recognizing and creating happiness now, you are creating your future happiness. That is sustainable happiness! We are constantly told “don’t live in the past!”, But time is a funny thing. A funny thing that nobody really understands. What past are we not supposed to live in? Am I to forget about the years I spent in the hospital or get over the fact that I just wasted two and a half hours of my life watching Transformers: The Last Knight?! You get the same problem with the future. Your plans for dinner are in the future, but so is the next ice age. The problem comes from the fact that when we talk about living in the past we aren’t talking about time and space but rather a state of mind. So many of us make the mistake of trying to live in the future. We seem to live such busy lives that the present seems a blur. While the future seems to stretch out before us, giving us all the time we need to find a new job meet our soul mate, or finally loss that weight. And why shouldn’t we live in the future? It's so very easy to believe our hopes and dreams can be fulfilled tomorrow, just ask Annie. After all she promised us that the sun will come out tomorrow. But when you pin most, if not all of your happiness on the future you guarantee you'll never be truly happy. You need to focus on the present, on the experience of living. I think the best way I can explain living in the now is; think about sitting in a movie theater, watching a really good movie. You're not thinking about work or what you want for dinner. You are focused on that movie, even if it is Transformers: The Last Knight. You are focused on the movie. You're in the moment. If you can learn to bring that focus to your everyday life, that is how and where you will begin to be happier. Should you stop thinking and planning for tomorrow, NO! Not saying that at all, remember the Grasshopper and the Ants. But there is a vast difference between planning for the future and living in it. Remember while you are making plans to be happier in the future, your life is still going on around you. Things are still happening now, good things and bad things. Life doesn't stand still just because you've made a choice to start living tomorrow. Life should not be something to be endured until your happy future arrives. Your present should be happy exhilarating, and inspiring. And it can be if you simply live in it and embrace it.