Do you sometimes find yourself thinking that you’ll be happier when some big things in your life change for the better?
Or that some particular event has to happen and THEN you’ll feel more content?
In our culture we’re conditioned to focus on end results – the gold star for finishing a task in kindergarten, the end of term report card during high school, the praise (hopefully!) at the end of a big project at work.
The problem is, often that means we’re putting all our hopes and attention on something in the future.
We assume that when that happens, everything in our life will fall into place and we’ll have a perfect life.
That’s like not watching a movie until the final moments!
Research shows that the happiest people are grounded in the present. Sure they take heed of the past and look forward to the future, but they mainly immerse themselves in today.
Other studies show that taking time to savour the good things in life – including celebrating large and small achievements – increases positive feelings and a sense of wellbeing.
So here’s how you can celebrate your professional and personal progress this week and enjoy the sense of pride, satisfaction and wellbeing that comes from that.
Rather than relentlessly zooming towards your end goals, take some time to look back and see how far you’ve come in different areas of your life.
It’s as simple as these three steps:
1. Stop to notice
Make a point of stopping to notice where your life is right now. If you go through life rushing around and going in a dozen directions, it’s hard to savour the moment.
2. Pause to appreciate the progress you have made
Pick any point in your past and reflect on how things have changed since that time. What have you learned? What relationships have you built since then? Even if the changes haven’t always been positive, I guarantee that you will have learned some valuable personal lessons from them.
3. Enjoy the journey as well as the destination
Be proud of all your step-by-step accomplishments and achievements on the way to your goals. Enjoy the small moments as well as the big ones.
Spending time to celebrate your professional and personal progress gives you the opportunity to feel proud and grateful for the progress you’ve made. This will, in turn, make you feel happier both in the moment and for a lingering time afterward.