We live in an age in which we seem to be constantly striving for more. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with having ambition and setting goals for the future; this can help keep us motivated and encourage us to better ourselves. What often happens though, is that we become so fiercely obsessed with the future, that we’re no longer satisfied with the here and now. And as a consequence this distracts us from actually achieving our objectives.
I know that I’ve become caught up with the ‘When I have’ syndrome. ‘When I have that job, I’ll be happier’, ‘When I find a boyfriend/girlfriend, I’ll feel more content’, ‘When I earn more money, that will make everything easier’. Usually these kinds of thoughts only serve as motivation killers and lead to anxiety, unhappiness, dissatisfaction and that feeling of not being good enough – or that what we have isn’t good enough.
We probably moan to our friends about all of the above too. And spend so much time whining about what we don’t have that we completely forget how great the present moment actually is; being there with a friend! The truth is, we can only get that great, abundant future if we’re grateful for what we have now and take time to enjoy it! So how can we learn to live in the moment?
The Daily Routine
Part of the reason we focus on always wanting more or something different is because we become bored of our day-to-day lives. So do something every day that makes you happy – even if it’s only for ten minutes. You could also set yourself daily challenges and push yourself to try something new.
Make a list of things or people you have in your life now that you’re grateful for. Make this list on paper or type it out because when you read it back, it may surprise you to see how much you actually have and perhaps take for granted. The more you do this, the more you’ll probably be able to add to the list and the more content you’ll feel as a consequence.
Health & Happiness
Take a look at your diet and lifestyle. Are you getting enough exercise and eating the right foods? Sometimes simple diet and exercise changes can make a huge difference to your general happiness levels. Too much fat, sugar, caffeine and alcohol can lead to uneven blood sugar levels, leaving you feeling low, unhealthy and unhappy.
Notice everything – even the boring stuff. Here’s an example: supermarket shopping isn’t the most exhilarating task and it’s easy to become annoyed at other people getting in your way or queuing after a long day at work. But try not to become consumed with how all this affects you. Look at the other people and think about what their day might have been like. Even though it seems impossible, try and make every boring thing you have to do an experience rather than a task. You’ll be far less stressed about it.
Acts of Kindness
Do things for others. It’s amazing how even small acts of kindness can make you feel really good. And spend time with people that make you happy – try to make more time for family and friends.
Passion & Positivity
Bring passion into everything you do. If you hate your job, you’ll hate it even more by hating it and doing it with minimal effort. Try a day of doing everything in your job with passion. You might discover things you really have a talent or affinity for, which could help you make positive changes for the future. You’ll also feel so much better that you’re doing your job to the best of your ability, which might change how you see it.
Take time out
Meditate, go for a walk, do some exercise, listen to music – whatever helps you to relax. We’re constantly on the go and even just taking 15 minutes a day to bring you back to the now can provide calm and decrease stress levels.
By focusing on what you have right now instead of obsessing over what you think you lack, you’ll increase your overall feeling of wellbeing and will be far happier. Like generally attracts like, and so if you’re content and happy now you’ll be in a far better place to then attract great things into your future. Aside from everything, if you really think about it in the simplest of terms, all we have right now is now. So enjoy it!