I am happy now

I have goals. I have things I want to accomplish. Things I’m striving towards.

I have plans. I have blueprints for making amazing things. Things that will help people.

I have aspirations. I have places I want to be. Destinations that I will one day reach.

I have dreams. I have visions of big things. Things that will be but are not yet.

But I am here. I will always be here. Not that I will always be in this place, but here in the sense that I am where I am. Where I am is now.

Now is what I have. Now is all that I have. It is all that I ever will have.

The future is unknown. You can plan for it, prepare for it, hope for it, and envision it, but it never arrives. It only looms in front of us.

There is one thing we can be certain of: change.

Our circumstances change, people change, opportunities change, luck changes, locations change, the economy changes — uncertainty is what we can rely on.

We often can’t change our circumstances, but we can always control our response.

We know two things:

  1. Change is certain.
  2. We control our response.

If our happiness is circumstantial, it is certain to change because circumstances change. Rarely are we where we want to be and if we are, it is only for a passing moment before we want to be somewhere else.

The future will not be different.
You will be as happy in the future as you purposefully choose to be happy now.

If you decide to be happy only once you move into a new house, or when you quit this job, or when you finish school, or when you launch your new product, or when your newsletter hits a thousand subscribers, or when you finally go on holiday break, or when you have kids, or when the kids leave the house, you guarantee fleeting happiness.

Living for the next thing doesn’t ensure happiness when you get there, it only builds the habit of putting your happiness in circumstances just beyond the horizon. When you arrive, the horizon is once again further away.

This is not to say we should have no hopes or ambitions. Rather, if we decide to withhold happiness from ourselves until something external is obtained, we only rob ourselves of potential joy in the moment.

I know that for as much as I want to believe my happiness will permanently increase when I reach the next milestone, it will only be a shot of dopamine. A momentary blip and a temporary high that goes as quickly as it came.

But I’m still alive in between those beeps. For the entire span between spikes on the heart monitor, I’m alive. Why live only for the spikes? It’s the ebb and flow of life.

Have direction but don’t live for arrival.
Choose to enjoy the journey.

Like now, all I will have in the future is the current moment. If I do not practice choosing happiness now, I will never be happy even when I have obtained everything I aspire to.

I have goals. I have things I want to accomplish. Things I’m striving towards.

I have aspirations. I have places I want to be. Destinations that I will one day reach.

I’m not there yet, but I am happy now.


This article was originally published on seanwes.com over a year ago. I can confirm it is as true this day as it was then.

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