I have found through my own experiences, that I am only truly happy when I am fully present in any given situation. If I don’t engage with my surroundings and what’s going on around me, I am not living in the moment, I am not taking part in the life that has been given to me. It’s foolish of us to do anything but live in the present moment, yet I constantly find myself replaying past experiences or dreaming about how great the future is going to be. It’s only natural that these thoughts come into our minds but we shouldn’t let them become a significant part of our lives.
When I think back on my own memories, I can smile in remembering past experiences and that’s OK. But when I start comparing my current situation to one that I’ve found myself in before, I get disheartened. How unfair it is that my life’s not as great as it once was. I wish my life was the way it used to be.
Do you see where that line of thinking gets you? I’ll tell you where.. nowhere. If you spend all of your time reminiscing on past experiences, how will you ever have any more experiences to add to that collection? You won’t. If I think back to my fondest memories, they were times when I was fully present. I didn’t have a care in the world, I was living in the moment.
If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.
Some people might say that you have to think about the future and they are correct to a certain extent. I think of it differently though. Instead of thinking of the future and how we want it to be, think about what you can do now (in the present) to move in the direction you want to go with your life. If you want something as straight forward as being rich, think about what you can do right now to ensure future prosperity. But sitting pretty and dreaming about all the nice things you will be able to do once the future arrives is a hopeless endeavour. If anything, it will lead to future unhappiness when you realize that you haven’t lived up to your imagined view of yourself.
All in all, true happiness isn’t something that we can buy. True happiness comes from within. Once your mind is at peace with the way of the world, you are free to embrace life for what it really is. We are the universe experiencing itself, we have every right to be happy about that.