Let today be the day you stop waiting for happiness to come in any form other than your presence in this moment. Let today be the day you stop waiting for the perfect moment and instead choose to enjoy the journey. For outcomes aren’t the only source of happiness; the process of working towards the outcome is, too.
“The trick is to enjoy life. Don’t wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead.” – Marjorie Pay Hinckley
Today is the day to enjoy the journey
Today is the day I relinquish anything that would keep me from enjoying this journey.
Today is the day to start enjoying life. For one moment, forget the past. Forget your age. Forget about the storm, the mistake, the difficulty.
Your desires are worth the hard work. YOU are worthy of happiness and fulfillment, and sometimes being happy requires doing the hard things that frighten you and push you out of your comfort zone. There is a difference between existing and truly living, and the little things you do to enhance your life right now make that difference. The little ways in which you enjoy the journey right now, where you are, makes all the difference.
Enjoying the process takes a little creativity (how can I make this meaningful?), a lot of faith (in yourself and in the process), and some heart (commitment to the notion that happiness is here). We can rely on working towards something, engaged in meaningful pursuits, without linking our happiness to the outcomes. Of course, it’s natural and good to prefer one outcome over another before it happens, but once it has happened, we can accept and find meaning in how things have unfolded–however they have unfolded–and keep moving forward.
Stop seeking storms, and start enjoying the sunlight
I release the need to dwell in the shadows, and I focus more intently on the bright spots in life.
There are times we may feel stuck in a rut (or in the middle of a storm), but infusing a little play and spontaneity into the day will help us shift into a positive mindset that sees opportunity. The storm doesn’t last forever. If we keep giving all our attention to negativity, we aren’t able to notice the possibilities or feel inspired to look around at what’s good in our life.
Find a meaningful reason to make your life playful again. Prioritize play in some way, even in tiny ways. Let yourself smile more, laugh louder, play games, and look at the world around you in wonder. Forget the complaints and focus on the positive.
Do something because it makes someone else smile, and you’ll find it’s hard not to smile, too. We all have storms, but if we can help each other through them, if we can be a source of uplift for others and ourselves, and if we can weather anything because we know our spirit cannot be hurt, we can watch how quickly the sunlight returns to us.
Find your flow
I derive my happiness from the process of moving in the direction of my choosing.
Engage yourself in this moment. When you’re in a state of flow, time seems to stop, you are deeply present in the moment, and you’re using your strengths in an activity which requires all of your attention. Engaging in flow activity which you find meaningful will make you happy. This has been shown again and again in studies of flow, as I learned in this happiness course, and in my own personal experiences.
There are two really interesting conclusions that can be drawn from this fact: (1) we don’t need to depend on outcomes for happiness, and (2) the concern that, if we were to detach happiness from outcomes, we would never be happy again is not really valid.
We can derive much, if not all, of our happiness from the process of working towards our goals. We could, for example, derive happiness from preparing to move in to a new home or from planning a vacation. That is, even if we don’t eventually purchase the home or go on the vacation, we could derive a significant amount of happiness from working towards these outcomes.
So long as we’re engaged in meaningful pursuits, we can enjoy the journey–the hills and the valleys, roadblocks and all.
- How do you remind yourself to enjoy the journey when things get tough?
- How do you relieve stress and get back to a peaceful, happy place?
Please share your own thoughts, practices, lessons, and experiences with me in the comments.
Share this affirmation with someone you care about.
Choose to let go of your frustrations and start to enjoy your life.
Watercolor texture by Sabine Fischer; lettering by Aim Happy.