3 Simple Steps to Finding Your Happiness Now
03 Aug 2015
I once read a quote by Marcel Pagnol that said, “The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.” This quote exemplifies the way many of us live. So I’m going to give you a few practical ways to find your present happiness—now.
After working with hundreds of clients and studying my own thoughts, I’ve confirmed that happiness is a choice and giving yourself permission to exercise your choice is key. Way too often as human beings, we focus on the past and hold ourselves hostage to disappointment and regret. Then to add salt to our wounds, we won’t forgive ourselves for how our past went or for wanting it back. When you are continuously focusing on the past, ask yourself if it is serving you. In other words, ask yourself, “Are my thoughts, feelings, and body sensations supporting me to live my life with joy and peace?”
So you may be saying, “Duh, most times they are not.” True, however, before you can find your bliss and happiness in the present, your first step is to be aware of who you are in the present and powerfully choose your thoughts and actions moment to moment. Make a list of the things that make you unapologetically happy and bring joy to your spirit, then daily pick at least one thing to do. If you have gotten so far away from knowing what makes you happy, this is the perfect time to rediscover and take note.
2. Write a new story.
Along with moment-to-moment thoughts, comes the ability to recognize what stories or internal conversations you have around your past. If you ask most people to discuss their past, they will say something that indicates shame, guilt, disappointment, anger or nostalgia. The problem is they’re missing out on enjoying today by focusing on all that residual energy from the past. They have an amazing opportunity to create magnificence and newness now, but their minds are subtly or loudly preventing it.
Writing a new story is one of the best ways to let go of the residual stuff. Literally write your story. It may start something like this – “I am so thankful for … because I learned….and now…” After you write your new story give a little more energy to it daily until you have rewritten most of the chapters that prevent you from living for today.
3. Live in the now.
Focusing on the past keeps your from enjoying the gifts in the present. Additionally, happiness in the present is hindered by the fear or challenges of perceived future events. We live in a world where you can become inundated with the challenge to have this or have that and be this or that. I think it’s wonderful and powerful to be your highest and best self and to have nice things and “be” great at your career or business, but if it comes with a label that says “Be Happy When You …” then change it.
Happiness is now because you are grateful for what you have now—even the challenging stuff. Part of releasing worry from a future complex is to use a mantra that resonates with you. I usually say “All is well” as my mantra. What’s yours?
Remember all we have is the present moment, the past is gone, and the future is not here. Think about that for a second. We have the task of appreciating and honoring what we have now—in the present moment. It’s our choice to find our happiness.
What will you do today to enjoy the present moment?