The key to happiness is very simple, yet very hard to do. There are only two things you need to do if you want to find joy and happiness in your life. No, I’m not going to be the kind of person who builds you up and drags this out to tell you what the two things are at the very end of the post. I don’t want to be like the NEWS forecast where they show you one quick clip that you really want to see, but hold it out until the last 15 seconds of the broadcast before they show you what it is. In order to find true happiness, you need to focus on moments, one at a time. The two things you need to do to make that happen are: 1) Be very focused on this present moment; and 2) Work to keep your mind FOCUSED on this present moment. Let’s talk about these two things…
1. Focus On The Present Moment
This is simply where you live in the moment you are currently in. You focus and pay extreme attention to what you are doing and find the joy in the small things in life. Small things add up to big success, and if you can find joy in the present moment, you will be well on your way to a life of happiness.
Focusing on the present moment means, when you are reading this post…READ this post. Don’t be distracted by the million things around you. Focus on this post. When you brush your teeth, brush your teeth. Focus on the sensation of the toothbrush as it moves across your teeth and gums. When you are spending time with a family member or friend, spend that time with them, not dividing your attention between your phone, the TV, and them. Just stay focused on this very moment.
2. Work To Keep Your Mind Focused On This Very Moment
Our minds are easily distracted. We say we are focused, but are we truly focused? Do you find yourself thinking so much about the past that you can’t seem to experience what is happening now? Are you too busy anticipating what is going to happen in the future that you are pulled from the present moment? Do you live regretting or feeling guilty about the past? Do you live every moment anxious or excited about what is next to come versus what is happening right now? This is how our minds naturally work. We are constantly jumping back and forth between the past and future, spending less time in the present moment. This is the hard part of focusing on the present moment. Since our minds are easily distracted, keeping them focused on the current moment is the most difficult thing to do. Have you ever paid attention to how easily you are distracted???
Try this challenge…just for the next hour, try to focus your mind on the task you are actually doing. Then every time your mind wanders off task, either thinking about the past or anticipating the future, put a hash mark on a piece of paper. If you honestly do this, I believe you will be shocked by the number of hash marks. You may even quit writing the hash marks down within the first five minutes. You will think staying in the present moment is impossible, but it’s not.
My daily reminder to stay focused on the present moment is say to myself, “Focus on moments, one at a time.” This reminds me that I need to stay present, and enjoy what I am doing right now. Find the joy in the little things in life. This is where you find happiness. We can’t rely on others, the past, or the future for happiness. We have to rely on ourselves and our ability to stay focused on this present moment. Think about it. Your life is happening NOW. Not ten minutes ago, or ten minutes in the future, but right NOW.
Eckhart Tolle said, “There is never a moment where you life is not right NOW.” So, focus on the moments, one at a time, not being concerned with the what happened in the past or what may happen in the future. Sure, you have to plan for the future, so make it a point to plan, identify the steps to get there, and then focus on each step one at a time. Sure, you can remember the past, but do it purposely and then come back to the present moment. In the present moment is the only place you will find true happiness!!!