How many times I have you said or thought “I will be happy when (fill in the blank)? Maybe it is when you lose weight or meet the perfect guy or get the perfect job. Doesn’t all of that worry, wear you out? I know it does me! Then what really happens is I miss out on the here and now.
It’s an art to stay content where you are while you’re on the way to something better. As you race to your goal, I’m sure you have heard it a million times “It’s the journey, not the destination.”, right?
What if you were to change the mindset and the words from “I will be happy when I get the new job/my kids graduate/I retire/I win the lottery.” to “I will be happy while I wait for the new job/my kids are with me/I’m blessed to have a job.” Just a slight change in the mindset, allows you to enjoy the moment while you are racing towards your goal.
Here are a few questions courtesy of Valerie Burton to help you appreciate the value of the here and now.
1. What are you grateful for?
Contentment and gratitude are impossible to separate. Gratitude empowers you to notice the blessings right in front of you. It opens your mind to the possibility of what if the little blessings disappeared, they wouldn’t seem so little anymore. Stop talking, thinking, and complaining about what you don’t have and start noticing what you do have. SMACK! I am so guilty of this but I am a work in progress so I am learning to be grateful for the little things.
2. What’s the most important lesson being offered to you right now?
When you’re too focused on the future, you can miss the lesson being offered to you today. More important than reaching a goal is the person you become in the process of reaching it. What character traits are being developed? What destructive habits are being eliminated? What are you learning you would not have learned otherwise? Look for the lessons. Appreciate them. Embrace them. Lessons can sometimes be hard, brutal even BUT without the lessons we would not learn and grow
3. When you look back on this time a year from now, what will you wish you had done?
UGH! This question is HUGE! I sometimes fall into the “what if” trap and believe me it doesn’t get me anywhere. The frustration effects my attitude, and we most likely will make choices we’ll later regret. But when you ask yourself this question, you suddenly recognize the magnitude of the opportunity before you. What do you want your legacy to be? Rather than complaining or murmuring about how hard things are, you have an opportunity to face the challenges before you like a champion. You can’t change the past BUT you can live in the moment and create your own future.
4. In what ways have you already made progress?
Are you like me – beat yourself up for mistakes you have made? Stop taking yourself for granted. Maybe you (and I) haven’t made perfect progress, but who has? It is important we acknowledge what we have done. Focus on your milestones while they are happening. Celebrate them. Treat yourself. Tell the world. Life is happening right now. Rather than waiting to reach the finish line before you mark your progress, do it with every step you take.
I challenge you to be content where you are right now!
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!