Live the moment


What is happiness and how can we reach it to live a fuller life? It is a question that human beings have been asking almost always. Obviously there is no magic formula to reach it, nor is it something that means the same thing for everyone.

A note recently published in Business Insider described the conceptualization of some of the leading philosophers of history about happiness. His reading encouraged me to seek similar definitions of other thinkers and, why not, to try from those definitions one of their own.

Socrates, one of the greatest thinkers of antiquity, believed that happiness comes not from external rewards and praises but from private success, from the inner success that people bestow upon themselves. When we reduce our needs we can learn to appreciate the simpler pleasures of life. Confucius advocated the power of positive thinking, through which happiness reproduces as we find more reasons for its existence. The Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard thought that happiness comes from enjoying the moment. When we stop turning our circumstances into problems and begin to think of them as experiences, we can get satisfaction. Bertrand Russell, a fanatic of mathematics, science and logic, said that we can find happiness when we surrender to the visceral feelings of love.

More contemporary but no less interesting (and much more controversial), Hindu writer Deepak Chopra says that the first key to accessing happiness is when we get to know each other from within. Being silent witnesses of our own behavior, without becoming judges of the same. Being aware of our relationships with others, with nature and with the universe.

One of my mentors, Marshall Goldsmith, puts it simply: “Be happy now.” Many times we believe that happiness is a static and finite goal: “I will be happy when I buy a house or when I get promoted at work or when I start a family.” We set a goal and mistakenly believe that by achieving that goal we will change forever, we will be happy in the end. And that is just not like that.

At this point I want to share something of my story. When I was a child, my father found out he had a neurological problem. The doctors gave him 10 years of life but he told me: “Gaby, I will not die in 10 years. I promise that I’ll see how you finish school, university, get married and I’ll meet my grandchildren. “My dad lived more than 22 years. He saw me finishing high school, the university, he saw me getting married and met his first granddaughter. He knew what he wanted. Among all the lessons he left me, I rescue one that I try to practice on a constant basis and it is precisely that of “living the moment”.

My father taught me to be brave, to enjoy life day by day and to work for a legacy. To dream big and never give up. Because I believe that is the reason why we are here, ‘’To continue living after having left this world.’’