Remember the statement, “All fear is fear of loss.”? Closely connected with that idea is the idea that unhappiness exists when we think about or regret something in the past or when we worry about something in the future. When we live in the present moment completely, we don’t experience unhappiness.
Have you ever known someone who wanted something so much but was afraid she wouldn’t get it (for instance, a woman who wants to get married or have a baby) that she can’t be happy in the present moment? Or, have you ever known someone who is so unhappy because of an event in the past (for instance, loss of a spouse through death or divorce) that he can’t be happy in the present moment? I think we all have. But this is a choice those people make, knowingly or unknowingly. If they choose to let go of that memory or that fear in the present moment, they could begin to be happy. It doesn’t mean giving up on their dreams or ignoring the memory of their loved ones; it means choosing happiness now.
Maybe, like those people, you are concentrating on something in the past or something you are afraid you won’t get in the future to the extent that you can’t enjoy today.
The difference between people who live unhappy lives and those who go on to thrive is not what happened or didn’t happen to them, but how they reacted to it.
Living in the present will increase your happiness for another, obvious reason. When you increase your attention on something, you increase your ability to enjoy it. Make a conscious decision to be present in each moment. It increases your power and effectiveness and deepens your experience.
Letting go of the past and the future and fully enjoying the present will increase your happiness.