Focus on the Present

The last few weeks have been rough and in my previous post I wrote about how I’m looking for a job. One of the big realisations I had is that I’m not feeling happy. I’ve spent years researching what makes us happy and sharing those lessons with the people I encounter. I’m a guide towards living a happier life. Your best possible life. And yet, I wasn’t feeling the joy.

Present

I think every business owner has a lot of doubts at first. The first few years are tough and it’s normal to feel like what you’re trying isn’t working. It takes a long time to establish a brand and to gain interest in what you’re trying to achieve. I’m selling inspiration which is a difficult thing to quantify in terms of value.

I enjoy healing in many forms and I’ve experienced a lot of alternative healing in the past few years. Many people have told me that I’ll be enormously successful in my book sales and my endeavour. I keep getting the confirmation that I’m on the right path and that I’ve found my calling. It just feels like it’s taking so long and sometimes, it’s tricky to know what the next step is.

I think one of the reasons I  haven’t been feeling the joy lately is that I’m too focused on the future. I keep thinking about what life will be like in ten years time and I’m so excited to see my goals being achieved. However, I haven’t been focused on the present, on what’s happening now in my life.

Looking back a few years, I was so miserable. I was desperately ill from burnout, with no visible signs and not many people could empathise. I couldn’t do what everyone else completely takes for granted. I couldn’t go out twice in one day. I couldn’t manage to attend a children’s party with my kids. I even struggled to cook dinner at night. I felt so frustrated that it would take me years to be able to function normally. I just wanted to wish the time away.

And now, I’m able to do all of those things. I’m able to exercise and work a full day. I have energy to be with my kids and to care for my family. And yet, I’m still looking into the future for my happiness. I’ve been taking for granted what I longed for in the past. And this is why I haven’t been feeling happy. It’s one of the most obvious teachings of positive psychology: mindfulness.

Present

Research resoundingly shows that mindfulness increases happiness. I have been meditating but it has felt like a grudge activity. One that gets in the way of the other stuff I have to do. I haven’t been focused on enjoying the work I’ve been doing and the freedom that comes with working at home. I haven’t been grateful for the energy that I have and how well my body has recovered.

I’m doing my best to find a job. In the meantime, I’ve committed to myself to enjoy what I’m doing. Since I might be working full time soon, I’ve realised that I need to get everything done as quickly as I can. Just having this pressure has been such a positive thing for me and I’m accomplishing a lot more. That also builds my confidence and makes me feel good. Sometimes, a small mindset shift is all we need to galvanize our efforts towards what is needed in our lives.

Even if I take a few months to get a job, or if I simply can’t find one, I’m going to make the most of the next few months and try to achieve many things that will help me move towards my future goals. I’m not ready to let go of my long-term goals and I still dream of making a big difference in the world. I just can’t let my focus only be on the future because I’m losing out on enjoying what’s happening in my life right now.

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Kathy
I am a champion for living your passion. Writing is my passion, my destiny and my calling. I am a mother of two beautiful daughters and a wife and live in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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