Photo by davebluedevil.
By David Bohl
Many people equate money and the accumulation of it the fulfillment of their desires. We believe it will bring us happiness, yet no matter how much we seem to earn, we always want more. The pursuit of money is what causes many people to confuse those things they want with what they really need. So many people go through life not realizing that happiness does not happen when we yearn for things we lack.
In addition to longing for money, we also tend to yearn for things that we have lost or things that have passed us by. Our memories tend only to remember what we want them to remember, distorting our images of the past. This type of wishful thinking distracts us from enjoying what we have, right now.
We spend so much of our lives regretting things that have already happened, or hoping for things to come, that we forget to live for today. Follow these steps and you will learn to live in the present, and appreciate those blessings you do have.
Take Joy Where You Can Find It
Allow yourself to feel pleasure and pride at even the smallest accomplishments. Gather your strength so you can perform the tasks that await you, meet adversity with courage, and enjoy every moment of it. Learning to find happiness in the smallest things will add a great deal of enjoyment to your life and help counteract the stresses that build up over time from our daily obligations.
Free Yourself by Forgiving Your Rivals
Whether it is an adversary in the workplace or someone on your weekend softball team, allow yourself to forgive those who have wronged you. As difficult as it may be, carrying around a grudge takes effort and energy that can best be spent elsewhere. It also produces a great deal of negative energy that will affect your attitude and how you view the world. Acknowledge when you have been wronged, accept that nobody is perfect, and let it go.
Do Not Take Yourself Too Seriously
Just as it is important to accept the fact that others are flawed, it is just as important to remember that you are flawed as well. Acknowledge that everyone has imperfections, and allow yourself to enjoy your successes, but do not take them too seriously. Just about the time you begin to believe you are invincible, someone will come along and prove otherwise. Enjoy your success, but do not let it get the best of you.
Enjoy Friendship and Companionship
Take pleasure in the company of others. Be thankful for your spouse or significant other, cherish your children, and nurture your friendships. There is no greater gift in life that those people who love us and accept us for who we are – flaws and all. Take the time to honor them as their friendship honors you.
Give to Others
Giving can be physical – in the form of time and attention, such as reading stories to sick children at the local hospital or working in a food bank once in a while. It can also be material, like providing basic necessities to the homeless, or donating to a fund to build a well in a starving village in Africa. You could even volunteer to walk dogs at the animal shelter. Whatever motivates you to give of yourself for another’s benefit, do so whenever you can. Not only will your actions be greatly appreciated, but you will be filled with an overwhelming sense of pride and well-being. The act of giving is soothing to the soul.
Rather than spend your time longing for things you do not have and may never receive, focus instead on what is happening to you right now. Break yourself of the bonds of wishful thinking, and take joy in the present. Thoughtful wishing is the act of expressing gratitude for the gifts you have received, and in turn giving something of yourself to others. The happiness you so desperately seek through money or possessions lies within yourself, and by following these simple rules, you will be able to discover what has been within your reach all along.
About the author: this article was written by David B. Bohl – Husband, Father, Friend, Lifestyle Coach, Author, Entrepreneur, and creator of Slow Down FAST. For more info visit his blog at Slow Down Fast blog.