So much changed in my life in the last couple years. For one, I suffered a series of injuries that side tracked my training and impacted my fitness. My once trophy winning body felt like it was falling apart. I gained weight, lost strength and lost my stamina. I let it take me down. I allowed what should have been a temporary setback, snowball. Another change is I went from having money to do or buy anything I reasonably wanted, to having to think about how I spend my money. No, I’m not suddenly broke or at risk of losing my home or security. And I believe my financial future is incredibly bright. But as my life transitions and I now work through this period of rebuilding, I find myself needing to pass on some of the material things I once took for granted and sometimes it makes me feel defeated.
But I am human and by nature that makes me resilient. The curve balls I’ve been thrown confirmed something I’ve always felt… Happiness comes from somewhere inside ourswelves. I am happier now with less, than I was for a very long time with “everything.” There is incredible peace in saying “this moment is the only thing that is real” and asking, “what am I doing today that brings me happiness?” It doesn’t take money, one more pound lost or the acceptance of others to be mindful of what you have and grateful that you woke up this morning to experience another day and see another sunset.
When people live for tomorrow, they never truly live. The only thing that is real is this moment. We may feel happy when we achieve a goal, but then we reset our goals as we should. There is no finish line. We are never satisfied. You’re not going to reach a point where you feel “comfortable” and decide to relax and FINALLY enjoy your life, unless you’re done living. With money… When we finally buy what we thought would make us happy, we eventually find something new we want. And our bodies? I’m not going to lie… I was often happier before I lost weight a few years ago, than I was in my own skin even when I was a week out from winning a fitness competition. I never felt like my body was good enough. I rarely stopped and said THIS is my life, holy shit its amazing to be alive, time to make the most of it.
This is a reminder to enjoy your life today with what you have, while still setting goals for the future. When you finally have that dream house, car, boat and Hawaiian vacation you wanted, I promise you will not suddenly feel like you’re “there.” You’ll want a bigger boat, a different car and a condo in Hawaii instead of a vacation. Instead of killing yourself with work or not having the occasional off-plan meal with friends, make the most of TODAY. Don’t only live for your goals because believing in some imaginary state of contentment that is always down the road will never lead to happiness. Its goal setting in place of life living that postpones being happy now, to get to some fairy tale land in the future that we seek but never actually find. It makes happiness the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow we always hope is there but can never find.
Because if seeking “things”, or a perfect body, or the ideal relationship is what you think will make you happy, you can be sure you’ll never actually find any of it. Its human nature to always reach for more. Its when you don’t also choose to be grateful for where you are at, that it becomes a problem. You’re not going to find happiness. You need to choose it now.
We need goals and dreams. We need to put in the work to make our bodies better. We need to be smart about our money and plan for the future so we feel secure and safe. We need people we love around us so we don’t go through life alone. But we also need to remember that we really only have this moment. Don’t waste it assuming you’ll get another chance to live your day.
My point of all this? Rewrite the narrative in your head. Instead of waking up and hating the body you see in the mirror, be grateful that you OWN that body and today you’re going to do something with it that reminds you that it still works and its a machine that you can either ignore with apathy until it stops running, or make a choice to do something that says you love it NOW and you will treat it with respect for allowing you another day on this earth. Your house isn’t too small or too messy. It provides you with shelter and warmth and that is all it needs to do. So thank your space for keeping you safe and dry by putting an hour of effort into making it a place you are happy in today instead of waiting for the day you can move. And remove toxic people from your life. You are enough. Never allow anyone to try and make you believe you are not. You likely give away love, loyalty and kindness like there is no end to its supply. Stop pouring it endlessly on people that have no ability to understand how lucky they are to receive it from you.
When you choose to love yourself, your life and your crappy car that really has only one responsibility… To deliver your body where it needs to go even with fading paint and that weird noise… You will learn to be happy NOW and that will give you the strength and self confidence you need to set, reach and reset new goals without falling into the trap of believing that happiness is an object you can collect down the road.
Now put your phone down, shut off your laptop and remember your real life is in progress and you have everything you need right now to be truly happy. Scrolling through other peoples lives on Facebook and Instagram, filling your head with what other people have and watching other people living THEIR lives is like handing them control of your emotions and happiness. This moment, your life, the people you choose to have in it are the only things that are real. You can’t find your best life and your happiness if you are distracting yourself from all that you already have by spending your time scrolling through what you don’t have. You already possess the only thing you need to be happy right now… This moment and the ability to be grateful you get to live it.