Align your vision and celebrate progress
Happiness is about now, not the future, but so many of us struggle with this concept. I know because I experience it myself. It’s the mental, physical, emotional, financial, and relationship challenges that prevent us from being present in the now and content in our current reality.
What I didn’t do well
Happiness to me is having freedom. I always wanted the feeling of freedom and the reality of freedom, but what I tried to get it didn’t work. I made decisions to make other people happy. I didn’t clearly communicate what I wanted. I numbed my feelings about situations.
My attempts at freedom were not successful, and happiness remained elusive.
How I found happiness
Acceptance was the first step to the feelings of freedom and joy I have in the present moment. I accept my strengths and weaknesses. I accept my current reality. I accept what I cannot change.
Happiness looks like waking each morning with gratitude for my life, family, work, and relationships.
I understand that I can’t have happiness without naming my feelings. With this awareness, I can self-regulate and harness the power of emotion. I’m also more self-aware, which is the foundation of emotional intelligence and lifelong learning.
All this gives me the motivation to do the hard things necessary to live and work one day at a time. And this is freedom.
Overcoming barriers to happiness
Some things still get in the way of freedom, such as overthinking and anxiety. However, I know how to overcome the challenges to live free. I meditate, exercise, and maintain healthy relationships with friends, family, colleagues, and business partners.
When I feel sad because I lost a job, or I’m experiencing a transition in business or personal relationships, I find it hard to let go. I have to allow myself time to process the emotions.
I write, listen to music, read a book, go into nature, ride my bike, stretch, practice yoga, talk to a friend, or cook good food for my family. I will also ask for help from someone I respect and value.
If I feel stuck, I create action plans for my vision for business and life. I also hire people or partner with people that can do it better than me.
I have found that the connections with my spouse, Andrea, and business partners built around shared goals and ideas lead to a better life. When I align my vision with my team, I find things move along more smoothly.
I’m also building a career that supports a life I want to live now, not the future.
What you can do
The formula for happiness is simplicity and clarity in your vision so that you can meet your needs and accomplish your goals along the way.
First, make sure your vision aligns with key people (your wife, family, or business partners). Then work towards that shared goal together.
Second, track and celebrate every little milestone. It’s easy to feel dejected when things don’t go exactly to plan or you don’t reach a goal by a set date. Recognize and appreciate the progress you’ve made.
Practicing these two steps makes it possible to be happy right now even if you haven’t achieved the vision you have for your life yet.