“Happy people live secure in the knowledge that the activities that bring them enjoyment in the present will also lead to a fulfilling future.” –Ben-Shahar, from the book Happier.
I consider one of my core values in life as focusing on the journey rather than the destination. As a whole, we are taught to seek rewards for the destination rather than the journey. For example, most students focus on receiving a high test score, but fail to enjoy the process that helped them receive that high score. This is partly due to the lack of rewards during the journey. The idea of working hard is complimented less often than the idea of winning.
Happiness is the state of being happy, while happier is a lifelong pursuit no matter where you are in your journey. This enables us to become more active and responsible for our own actions without becoming complacent.
So, what does this mean?
1. Make a list of what brings you joy now and in the future.
2. Make a list of what brings you joy now and not in the future.
The goal is to maximize what brings you joy in the present and future, while minimizing what brings you joy now and not in the future. Enjoy the journey and do not worry because the rest will take care of itself. This thought process is similar to goal-setting and accomplishing small tiny goals to create the momentum to result in achieving larger goals. Small steps are either continuing your lifelong pursuit of happIER or not, there is no in between or neutral. Look to the next step, the next change, the next chapter in the process and not the prize. There will always be another prize if you plan on progressing in life, so enjoy every day, every step, and live the life you deserve!