Allow yourself to be happy in your present situation

Don’t let life pass you by. This one we hear all the time but it’s still easy to let it happen. It’s commonly heard as “live in the moment,” but I think that phrase is often misunderstood. I prefer something like

2. Don’t live for the past or even the future. Learn to appreciate each day and get as much life from it as you possibly can.

I first heard the phrase “live in the moment” from an immature person using it to dismiss the importance of foresight. That led me to completely ignore it every time I heard it for years. Eventually I heard it from someone who I knew had their head on straight and it prompted a second look. Turns out it’s actually a vitally important piece of philosophy, it just had the misfortune to be misinterpreted as “be a hedonist without regard for the past or future,” which is of course a horrible idea and completely divorced from the original intent.

As I discovered the original meaning I realized that I was doing the first part right – learning from the past but not living in it. However, the majority of the time I wasn’t just planning for the future, I was living for it. This may seem over-dramatic, but little thoughts like “Once this happens I’ll be able to…” are cancer. Cut them out. They result in mentally putting your life on hold until some future event happens. And guess what? When that event happens you’ll just come up with a new one, never allowing yourself to be completely content with where you are.

Take it from someone who has gone through clinical depression and is now one of the most content people he knows, getting rid of that attitude is one of the most important things you can do.

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