“Remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” Epicurus
Last week in my newsletter about how I stay happy, I shared with you that when I feel down I try and remind myself that overall, I am doing OK. Because some of you wanted to talk more about this – let’s take a step back together. If someone told you 5 years ago where you would be right now and what you would be doing, how would you feel?
I’ve asked my clients this question a lot as we so easily overlook how far we have come as we’re too busy obsessing with what we have yet to achieve. When I recall what I wanted in my mid-twenties it was pretty clear. Aside from good health for all the people I love, I wanted to be happily married, to be settled in Manhattan and to do meaningful work on my terms. I wanted real friends in New York who enjoy the deeper and lighter parts of life just like I do. I also (superficially) had “look nice” on the list. I would be just thrilled with those things.
The problem we encounter when we get what we want is that we’re too focused on the next thing to appreciate our evolution. Success is a moving target. Once we achieve something we rarely pause and acknowledge it. A woman I have worked with for some time just got a BIG financial break in her business and the first thing she said to me was, “but will I sustain this next month?” We are so busy future-tripping that we forget to give thanks to what is before us. How can we allow ourselves to be thankful and proud of who we are in this pretty cool present moment?
Ask yourself these questions (or discuss with a loved one):
– What is going really right in my life today?
– What have I not stopped to congratulate myself for?
– What extra gifts has the universe given me along the way that I did not expect?
– Throughout my struggles, what have I learned about myself that I am grateful for?
– How can the positives in my past inform the inevitable positives in my future?
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I do this “pause and be thankful” exercise when I future trip and lose my grounding… I love to remember what Oprah said once, “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”
What can you pause and celebrate most today?
With a whole lotta love,