Be Happy Now
We’ve all said it…‘I’ll be happy when…” (fill in your own blank). There are lots of options: “When…I have a partner, I have a better job, the kids leave for college, I win the lottery, I’ve had a drink, or I can afford the Ferrari…” Well, these things may give you some pleasure at the time they happen, but they’re not here, they’re not making you happy now. So, don’t put off. Be happy now!
In this third article in the Epiphanies Get Happiness series, we discuss what happy people do in the present… in the here and now. In the first article, Be Your Own Happiness, we discovered how happy people define happiness in their own terms. In the second, Be Yourself, we learned how they guide themselves within their own happiness, without comparisons or reliance on others. Let’s continue our journey and learn some more of what happy people do. Let’s understand how to be happy now.
- Happy people are being happy now. They will tell you about the things they are doing with their lives: the projects they are starting, or are part of; the places they have visited and are planning on visiting; the problems they are working towards solving and the communities they are working with to get those problems solved. When you ask them what they do, they respond with what they are doing in their lives. They don’t give you a job title or what work they do to pay the bills for the lives they want be living.
- Happy people aren’t waiting for life to happen. They understand that NOW is the only moment that you can effect and it’s the only moment in which you are living. So, if you’re not happy right now, when will you be? Happy people aren’t waiting for that extra thing, or person, or circumstance to make them happy. Sure, they have dreams for the future, but they are positioned as ‘further happiness’. NOW is not a gap until then. Yes, they’ll work on plans to make things even happier, but it’s not a destination. The journey towards those plans makes them happy, right here, right now. They are happy now.
- Happy people don’t need anyone else’s permission to act. They understand what’s right and wrong… for them and for those around them. Happy people live in honest intentions and for the ‘good’ of the world around them. The confidence that comes from this allows them to take action without hesitation. If their actions cause waves, then so be it, things will settle. If they cause accidental harm, then they’ll fix what they can and aim to better next time. Fundamentally, they take the responsibility to act with the best of intentions. They ask them selves “What’s making me happy now?”, then they’ll get with doing that.Every day, they remind themselves, “If not me, who?”
- Happy people see the big picture. You won’t find a happy person trying to micromanage every little thing. They touch life, they don’t strangle it. You’ll see happy people relax and not worry incessantly about the details. They’ve learned to let go a little and not to squeeze too tight. You’ll see them sit back and take a deep breath. When they speak, you’ll hear them describe the forest, not the trees although, at times, they’ll see the wonder of an individual tree too. To be happy now, you don’t have to know exactly where you’re going, just be confident that you’re headed somewhere great. Everything in life is in perfect order whether you understand it yet or not. Just take some time to connect all the dots and be happy now, even if you don’t quite get it yet.
- Happy people allow their happiness to emerge, rather than be driven. They sit back and enjoy how things are developing… the are happy now. A gentle nudge here, and a soft tap there is usually enough to keep things on an even keel. When your life is happy and ‘on a roll’ it only needs a little gentle steering, not a hefty shove. Get out of the way of your own happiness and let it emerge. It’s there, waiting for you to recognise it and to embrace it. You already have everything you need to be happy now.
- Happy people don’t quit because of minor setbacks. If they stumble on the journey, they’ll catch themselves and get steady again. If they fall, they’ll get back up every time. They know that failure is an unavoidable part of growing but they know how to deal with it. They are naturally inquisitive and will want to do better. So, after a setback, they’ll seek to understand why this approach didn’t work, this time. They’ll modify their plans and actions, they try again (but better this time). Through it all, they stay happy now.
- Happy people tend to move around a bit. They’re constantly full of energy and on the move. When you ask them where they live, they say, “At the moment, I’m staying at…” Happy people know that traveling is good for the soul. For them, the stagnancy of staying in one place their whole lives bores them. Happy people love meeting new people and having new experiences. It may be that they haven’t found the right place to settle down just yet or maybe the whole planet feels like ‘home’. There isn’t single place that will hold their sense of life and living forever – no single country or city. If you ask them where they live, they’d probably answer “earth” but that would sound way too pretentious. Instead, they’ll probably just answer ‘Here… for now”. Go to the place where you can be happy now.
So, are you ready to be happy now? Start with these three actions right now: