Being Happy… Right Now

Living in the now can be a daunting task, because it requires you to stop looking at your past mistakes, and stop solely focusing on the future, which may never come. By constantly looking at your past, or solely focusing on the future, you are forgetting to live in the moment. While this may seem trivial, how often do you simply enjoy the moment in front of you, this very second? This moment, right now, is only here for an instant, and will never be here again. Once this moment has passed it is only a ghost of a memory, if you can remember it at all. You cannot go back to the past to correct your mistakes, you can only learn from them and move on. While having a plan for the future is a good idea, because it will keep your finances and career goals on track, you should keep these in perspective. None of us are guaranteed to be here tomorrow, in an hour, or even five minutes from now, because life is frail.

Living in the moment, requires you to be “awake” and aware of the frailty of life. The Buddha and Jesus both taught about the need to be “awake” in order to see and hear. While these teachings undoubtedly had to do with becoming awake in a spiritual sense, these teachings can also be used by those who are not religious or spiritual. Becoming awake simply means that the real you, your true-self, becomes aware of who you truly are, and your place in the universe. When you become awake, or self-actualized as the psychologist Abraham Maslow called it, you become comfortable in your own skin, and you also become comfortable with your present situation, the here and now.

Until relatively recently, I was always waiting for the moment that I would be an adult, successful, “complete” in some way. I was always looking forward to conquering the next mountain (college, law school, career, family etc.) then I would be truly happy. However, when the attainment of these goals finally came they didn’t make me happy, I just looked forward to the next goal. Finally one day I realized that I needed to be happy where I was right now, and stop thinking that I will be happy in the future, after I do X. At the same time I also realized that I needed to move on from my past, and stop dwelling on past mistakes.

Practical Tip: Clear your mind, and take a deep breath through your nose. Feel the air as it enters your nostrils and fills your lungs. Hold the breath for a few seconds, and slowly release it through your nostrils. Feel the sensation of the air leaving your lungs and out through your nostrils. That breath, the moment that you just experienced is gone, yet in that brief moment of time you enjoyed vital act of breathing, the simple act which takes in the air needed to live, yet largely goes unnoticed. Anything that has been worrying you, whether past or in the future, did not have any bearing on that breath. Just as the vital breath came and went, so will pass any stressful, sad, or traumatic event in your life.

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Also, please check out my book, “The Path: Using the Religions of the World as a Guide to Personal and Spiritual Development.” (Click on the book cover to view on

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