What's right in front of you

So often we chase happiness in things and people. And whilst there's absolutely nothing wrong in wanting that new car, that attractive partner, a fulfilling job, perhaps children and a family, does happiness really reside in these things, and if not, what is it we're chasing exactly? 

You may have had the experience of achieving a longed for goal or experience, and barely savouring the moment, before moving on to the next thing. 

Certainly achieving something you've worked hard for has it's own intrinsic rewards, but what if, as a sort of experiment, we started to consider that we, and our lives, right now are enough. 

What if we really opened our eyes to what we already have in our lives, and gave thanks for this, what might that do to this endless running towards the next thing. 

Image via Favim

Image via Favim

It's quite a radical idea - this sense that we have everything we really need right now; that we may be able to rest a little rather than this endless striving and straining onwards towards what ever it may be that our egos tell us we need to be really happy.

Study after study has shown that, beyond a certain quality of life, happiness is not to be found in more money, or the latest shiny toys. And yet many of us struggle to really hear this message, let alone change our lives to reflect it. 

And all of us born in Australia are blessed beyond measure in ways that we can often take for granted.  Notwithstanding that life will always have it's challenges, a peaceful, democratic country, universal healthcare, a welfare state and unemployment benefits, good weather, all contribute to a way of life that many in this world could only dream of. And yet if we don't actively appreciate these benefits, we miss the many blessings we already have in our lives.

I'll write shortly on the many benefits of gratitude. But just as an experiment try listing all the things you have in your life, right now. You may find that the more you look, the more you see. Try seeing what's right in front of you, and you may well find that happiness is right here, right now, not in some mythical perfect future.