Many people get hung up on the big things in life. People are struggling to reach big dreams, make big moves, and celebrate big events, such as weddings, childbirth, and promotions. I get it. Life can get dreary, tedious, and repetitive. I too daydream about exciting, positive events in my life, like a real-life meet-cute that was cut from a Nora Ephron movie. But life is not solely about those huge events. Life is composed of many little blocks of repetitive events that are just as magical as the occasional big blocks of once-in-a-lifetime milestones. If you want to be happy, it is all about celebrating every block, little or big. Let’s get mindful about what truly makes us happy.
Be mindful. Look around you. Do not be waiting on something while life is happening all around us. Happiness comes from the small things as much as the big things. For example, every morning, I look forward to my one cup of coffee with a yummy breakfast. Everyday, I take my dog out on walks, and watching that fluffy little body wiggling with excitement injects with me the biggest doses of happiness. I also tend to enjoy my drives to and from work as it’s just me, a podcast or playlist, and, okay, occasional road rage.
Be grateful. Appreciate what you have now because eventually, they will be gone, and most of the time, irretrievable. Every weekend and some weekdays, I will go to the park with my sister and dog. That or my sister and I will go browse the stores like Home Goods or TJ Maxx. We aren’t always super excited about retail, but when we were out of town, I actually missed our loitering adventures in the stores we frequent. It might not seem like much, but I will miss it, just like how I miss the teenage years when our mom would take us to the mall almost every other weekend and buy us pretzels with cheese dip.
Be aware of the process. People want to get to the end goal–that’s where the big things are. You want to get there eventually, whether it’s selling a movie script or buying a house, but the process is where you grow and learn. The menial task of rewriting your draft for the billionth time or researching neighborhoods may leave a bigger mark on your life. In the case of marriage, it shouldn’t be about getting to the holy matrimony so much as it is about learning about your partner and yourself–once that is near completion, then by all means, go ahead and celebrate with the whole she-bang and cake slicing. However, after that, life will feel tedious again if you still haven’t learned how to appreciate the small stuff, and then you may go looking for the next big thing, then the next big thing, and whatever thrill is offered next instead of celebrating all of life, which is THE big thing.
Be happy. Choose to be happy. Do not choose dissatisfaction. Do not choose to be down about where you are in life at this moment. Of course this is easier said than done and does not apply to everybody. I am actually planning a podcast episode on this in the future. The concept is tricky. I know it isn’t as simple as this otherwise I would be happy every single day, and I’m not. But there are definite moments when I realize I’m being an ungrateful, entitled little brat who thinks she’s too good for the wear and drear of life and tired of doing the same thing over and over again. I remember what truly matters when I become more mindful and appreciate the present moment, one that may seem menial or cyclical, but is not.Do not be waiting on something while life is happening all around us. Click To Tweet
It’s the little things that we do over and over again that really encompass who we are and what our lives are like. So if we choose to be unhappy with these little things, we will be unhappy no matter what.
Start with the most basic of the basic. Find meaning and happiness there. Choose that. Choose to be satisfied with what you have now while looking forward to a better you, a better life, a better tomorrow–all the while being happy from beginning to end, with the small and the large. Happiness is not going to be an easy choice. That is why people depend on life to make them happy through big exciting events, but these are rare. So in all the other moments, you will have to make the difficult choice to be happy anyway.you will have to make the difficult choice to be happy anyway. Click To Tweet