The only true happiness comes from squandering ourselves for a purpose.

~ William Cowper (1731 - 1800) ~

Be Happy You Are

December 30th, 2011 ~ Est. reading time: 1 min, 44 secs

When will you get to be happy?

“When I’m 15, 18, 21, then I’ll finally be able to. Just as soon as we’re married, I’m going to… When I get this new job, travel, retire, buy a new place, etc… then it’s going to be good.”

Funny how we are always looking over the horizon to be happy. It starts early. Really early. Sometime around being toilet trained, I think. And it continues all the way to the grave, with one thing after another.

Though it drives us forward in anticipation, waiting to be happy is certainly a dual-edged sword. By definition, we cannot be happy now if we have to wait until something else happens. So there clearly are “whiskers to this way of thinking.”

What if you could still be happy in the here and now? Yet, what would get us going to advance and pursue better in life?

In the Old Book, in Proverbs, the advice from thousands of years past is that, “It is good to plan.” So, if it is, how do we stop the habit of abandoning the joy of the moment in exchange for waiting to be happy?

You might have your own thoughts, but for me, planning needs to include today too. I say, never forgo your happiness now for a future time when you hope to be happy. That’s a radical shift really. To say you refuse to surrender your chance to be happy now in exchange for being happy tomorrow, calls lots of conventions into question.

For instance, aren’t we better off deferring gratification? Isn’t that sensible? And what about making the most of today to build a better tomorrow? Well, you know, I don’t see any conflict with these and being able to be happy now too.

Plans should include room to be happy whatsoever the weather, wealth, or whatever! The secret to being happy now as well as then is to allow headspace for happiness in the moment. If you only work like a machine, removing all possibility of being happy today, you actually reduce your investment in happiness tomorrow. That’s because it’s easier to be happy if you have been already. Happiness, not misery, exhaustion or irritability, begets happiness.

So when you find yourself longing for greener pastures, consider the joy of today too. If you can’t see it, look for it. Make it a priority to be happy now and you will have the luxury of enjoying the best of both worlds.



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