Happiness When We Are Present

“Only the present moment contains life.” —Thich Nhat Hanh

Each moment is an opportunity to connect with life. All too often, we can be preoccupied in our minds with seemingly ceaseless thoughts of past events, activities of the moment, or what’s next. What if we simply make a decision to “slow down,” pause to take a breather, and be present with whatever it is that is actually occurring in the present moment?

This week, we had a rare opportunity to spend part of the day with someone who had been working 12 hour shifts each day, 7 days a week for the past 4 months. We asked what it was like to take a day off. They commented that initially, there was anxiety about the next day, however, the important factor was proactively noticing that they were headed toward getting burned out. Therefore, taking time to relax mentally and physically was in order. Their choice to fulfill this was to take a day off, have a cold beer, and enjoy being in nature to quiet their mind.

We asked them how they were able to work 7 days per week on such long hours. They noted that it isn’t as difficult as it may seem when one chooses to do things that they like to do, stays present to what they are doing, and consciously decides to enjoy each moment. A golden nugget of wisdom shared with us was, “I enjoy what I do for a living and will keep doing it as long as I am enjoying it. When I am not enjoying it, I will do something else that I do enjoy.”

We have wonderful opportunities to experience different things and learn what it’s like to love and enjoy life exactly the way things are. No matter where we are from or what our background, “The Next Big Move” doesn’t exist when we are present and grateful for what we have. Enjoy each moment and create what we want from a place of joy in that moment. We will be happy when ____, we will change our habits when ____, we will take a vacation when ____, we will spend time with the people we love when ____, we will be successful when ____, we will visit our family when ____, we will live life when…?

“Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.” —Benjamin Franklin

What are you chasing? Are you enjoying the present moment?

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