Can you have goals and outcomes for the future?
Can you suffer consequences of past events that happened to you or past unwise actions that you took?
Can you compare yourself to others and strive to achieve “more” for yourself?
You can, but if you’re unwise you only create a trap for yourself out of which there is no escape.
You worry about the future. You may even be anxious about the future. You are angry/sad/resentful/frustrated/_______name your emotion at choice here, about the past. What are you missing?
Well, what are you missing is not only joy and happiness in the moment, but you’re missing living. You’re missing enjoying the moment of now. And that’s life. Life you’re living now.
Now, don’t get me wrong! I did not say do not plan for the future. I did not say not to take all the measures to avoid trouble in the future. I did not say get to terms with your past (meaning let go of all the Negative Emotions from the past).
What I did say by contrast is that waiting for something better “over there” – whether it is a spatial or a temporal parameter, is only going to rob you from living and enjoying life now.
I know people who postponed all their lives. “I’ll do it later” they say. “I’ll do this and get that first and after that and only then I’ll be happy.”
Lifestyle. Opportunities. Wealth. Technology. Just think how far we are ahead of only a hundred years ago.
My grandmother was given into marriage in 1942 at the age of 16. She never had a choice. She never had the opportunity to have a career, a high standard life-style and never even talked of visiting exotic places for a vacation. She was a self-educated person. She loved to read and learn new things and she did this all her life. However I never heard her compare herself to other people. She did not pursue her education to look good compared to others. She did it out of her own desire for knowledge.
Talking to her many times I wondered what were her dreams and how much she thought about success, money, fashion, looks, business, travel and the like.
As a person my grandmother was one of the happiest and the most positive people I knew. She used to laugh wholeheartedly every day. She enjoyed every moment of her life. She lived with passion and she loved life. She lived a very long and healthy life.
I look around a see a lot of people who have all the comfort and opportunities my grandmother never had. And yet they are some of the unhappiest people around. Always envious, always comparing themselves with others only to become more unhappy with themselves, always thinking they don’t have enough or that they are not good enough unless they________(fill in the black with your favorite “achievement” here). I’ve seen people permanently thinking that somewhere else (in another job/relationship/career/town/country/political system/economy/etc. there is a better life and that “others” are certainly living a better life elsewhere.
These people make themselves miserable by constantly comparing themselves with others and coming up short. What they have or do or who they are is never good enough.
If you don’t make it now, right where you are, you will never make it. Postponing life and happiness will only bring unfulfilled dreams, disappointment and misery.
Instead you can be kinder to yourself while you keep on track with your future goals. You see, it is not an either/or situation. You can be happy now AND pursue your future goals. Living now means that you need to begin to appreciate all the progress you have made already. Look at where you were ten years ago. You made it. How far? It does not matter. Far enough. Acknowledge your gains. Pay attention to all the things that are enjoyable every day. You’ll surely feel much better. You’ll even begin to experience â€¦ happiness.
“But it is not real”, you would say. “It is just in my mind.”
Yes it is. And your worries about the future and past are just like that: in your mind.
So why not train your mind to enjoy and be happy in the moment?
Until next time, be well.