I often find myself thinking I'll be happier when I achieve certain things or change this or that. But there's always something else that sneaks onto my list. It never ends. And I'm pretty confident that I'm not the only one.
It's easy to think that acquiring more things or achieving bigger goals will make us happier. And maybe they do. For a while, at least. Until some other shiny thing catches our eye.
When is enough enough?
How do we get to a point where we can just love the lives we're living right now?
I think we can start today. We can start right here, right now. Wherever that may be.
We don't have to wait for tomorrow, next month, or next year. We don't need more money, better jobs, bigger homes, or more impressive lives to flaunt on social media. We just need contentment. We need to be grateful for what we have and see the emptiness of continually chasing after what we don't have.
If we don't put a stop to it, we'll find ourselves in a never-ending chase. We will never be satisfied. We'll keep pursuing one thing after another, hoping the next one will bring us happiness, only to find that none of them can.
So, how do we find contentment? How do we satisfy ourselves?
We find ways to love our right-now lives. We pursue joy right now, right here. We don't put off happiness until something else happens for us. There's no guarantee that it will. The only way to really live abundant, wholehearted lives is to embrace the beauty of life as we know it today.
What can you love about your life right now? It's easy to see the things you wish you could change, but I want to challenge you (and myself, too) to seek out and list the things that are going well.
Are you healthy? Are your family members healthy?
Do you get to spend time pursuing a hobby or favorite pastime, even just a little bit?
Do you have enough money to provide basic necessities (food, gasoline, mortgage/rent, utilities)?
Do you have access to a wide variety of entertainment options (Netflix, cable, books, music, podcasts, radio, movies in the theater)?
Are you in a season that will pass all too soon, one that you should savor and appreciate as long as it lasts?
Do you have a vehicle that safely gets you from point A to point B?
Do you have a solid community of people to support you and live life with you?
Are there moments of everyday beauty you can pause to enjoy? How about things like the sunset and sunrise, your child's perfectly imperfect artwork, an adorable puppy, a gorgeous flower, a moment of quiet before the chaos of the day begins, a delicious meal, or a sweet conversation with a friend?
For me, loving my right-now life looks like being grateful for the job I do have instead of spending all my time dreaming about another one I might like more. It looks like investing in decorating and updating my current home. It looks like pouring into my friendships because I have the ability to do so right now without a family of my own to devote time to. It looks like being grateful for my safety after sitting in snowy traffic, because although I had to wait to get around a handful of car accidents, I wasn't a part of any of them.
What things do you love about your right-now life? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!