We live in a very fast paced, on-demand world. We pay for same day delivery and we instantly stream music and TV shows or movies. We don’t want to wait for anything anymore, and when we do have to wait, we feel miserable about it.
Unfortunately this instant-gratification generation is miserable about a lot of things, because even when we do get something, our attention span is so short that this thing quickly becomes old, like the latest iPhone version every year. We are merely children with bigger toys: as soon as we get what we want, we stop wanting it. The thing we wanted so much quickly loses its original luster and we become dissatisfied again, looking ahead to what comes next.
This state of mind is extremely unfortunate, because it causes us to miss out on the here and now. And it causes us to live in a perpetual cycle of want; to constantly be striving after what we do not have instead of being happy or satisfied with what we do have.
I am not saying that we shouldn’t want or strive after things. If we have nothing to strive for: that new job or promotion, buying a house, starting a family, whatever it may be, without these things to long for, we lose purpose. However, if we are constantly looking forward to the next thing, then we can never enjoy the moment and what we have right now. And worse, what we do have gets devalued to the point of not really mattering, because it isn’t making us happy.
In order to truly feel happy and satisfied, we need to live in the moment and accept it for what it is. Even when we have to wait for that perfect job to come along, we need to be thankful of the job we do have that is paying the bills, even if it isn’t the dream job yet. It will come. If we are waiting to move to a new place until we can actually afford it, then we need to appreciate the place that we are living in now and take it one month at a time, putting money aside for the place that we desire. If we are waiting to take that vacation because it just isn’t the right timing, or money is tight, then we need to be thankful that we have the luxury in life to even think of taking a vacation. Some things can feel like a torment to wait for, but things can always be worse.
The true key to being happy is to focus on the wonderful things that we do have in our lives as opposed to focusing on the things that we don’t have.