Are we there yet? This is the question that parents all over the world hear when they go on a trip with their children. The children, not having to pay attention to the road or the weather conditions, get bored easily and want to be at their destination sooner rather than later so that they can have the fun that they feel has been promised to them.
In the defense of children everywhere, parents may not say the words, but they are thinking the same thing you are. We are a society of people who want it now. We like instant gratification and most of the time, we expect it; even if only because it is now considered the normal.
The same goes, it seems, for happiness. We feel that we deserve to be happy and we should be happy now. When it doesn't happen like that, we are disappointed, but don't feel that it is up to us to change anything. I beg to differ on this point. As I was looking through a catalog the other day, I found a decorative sign that said, "Happiness is not a destination, it's a way of life."
We need to stop expecting to be happy and start doing something to make ourselves happy. Our happiness is not only up to us, but it is a decision that we make every day.
There are ways to help us make this decision every day and we need to be able to discern what those ways are and then implement them into our everyday train of thought.
The first is to pay attention to yourself. It may seem like a crazy question to ask, but do you really know who you are? Do you know what and who truly makes you happy and do you endeavor to be around those things and those people? Sit down and make a list and then spend the next week living by who and what is on your list. It may seem a little crazy at first, but you will be crazy happy by the end of the week.
The next way to be happy is to treat yourself. Now I'm not saying to go on a rampage of self-indulgence, but it is OK every once in a while to treat yourself to a chocolate chip cookie or a movie night or even a second cup of coffee. Take a breath, get your nails done, go to the game, whatever it is that makes you smile - do it.
Another important way to be happy is to be kind to yourself. I don't want you to confuse this with treating yourself, as this actually has more to do with giving yourself a break. If you are anything like me, the hardest person on yourself is you. Ease up a little and give yourself a little slack. Running the world and being perfect while doing it is God's job, not yours, so let Him do it.
Finally, love yourself. You may think that this is a given, but it does require a little effort. I don't just mean love the stuff about you that you find admirable, but also love the stuff that more often than not, you are trying to hide. Trust me, we all know it's there because we have stuff of our own that we are trying to hide. It is all of you that makes you who you are and you should love each little bit of yourself.
Don't wait until you get there to be happy, make the decision to be happy now and every day. Make being happy your way of life.