We all want a more joyful life. But, more often then not, it can feel like an impossible task to achieve.
There always seems to be something in the way… a troubling relationship, the lack of financial security, feeling unsupported, a feeling as if you’re just wandering through life and unable to find your true life’s purpose that will make you feel fulfilled and overwhelmed with joy.
While all of these things are certainly valid concerns and issues to have, we often make these things worse than what they really are. Having the issue is one thing but holding on to the issue for days, weeks, and months on end while wishing that one day something is going to magically shift and make it disappear is something totally different.
The irony is that, often times, the real problem isn’t what we proclaim is our issue at all. Instead, the real issue is the fact that we spend too much energy focusing on the problem and not enough energy in actually finding things to be joyful and happy about.
We dwell about the failure of our past relationship and spend hours, days, and weeks replaying the past events in our mind in hopes that somehow that will magically make things better.
We dwell on our financial struggles rather than taking action and some potential risk in order to improve it.
We waste our time thinking about how we don’t feel fulfilled and wondering what our life’s purpose is but we fail to take any sort of action steps in order to give ourselves even the slightest chance in actually discovering what will truly satisfy our heart’s desire.
In a strange kind of way, we are addicted to suffering. It’s as if there’s a part of us that likes the fact that we have problems. A part that likes to have something to complain and whine about.
Author Eckhart Tolle of The Power Now and A New Earth, along with Buddhism and other philosophies, would describe this other part of us as the ego. The part within our mind that is fear-based and likes to keep us in a state of suffering, rather than a state of true genuine fulfillment through our soul and inner spirit.
The ego is the very thing that prevents us from really truly living in and focusing on the present moment. It distracts us by either living in a place with our nostalgic feelings of the past or hopes that one day things will all work out and become better in the future.
This is a huge discrepancy because by focusing most of our time in the past and future, we prevent ourselves from doing the absolute most important thing: To act in the present so that we can create happiness, joy, and fulfillment in our lives right now.
Not 5 years ago or back in high school. Not next week or 10 years from now. None of that jibberish. Rather is to take control of your life right now so that a life filled with love, joy, and fulfillment in all aspects of our life — relationally, professionally, and personally.
So how can we start taking action today in order to create more joy in our lives right now?
The key here is to place all of your focus on the present moment. So this is what I want you to do…
Stop thinking about all these other things that might be going through your mind as you are reading this. Stop thinking about all the things you have yet to do today. Stop thinking about your failed relationship. Stop thinking about your financial concerns.
Instead, just stop and focus on every single word that you are reading right now. Put your full attention into focusing on each individual word as they come up fully and completely.
Take a moment right now to bring that focus to an object in front of or around you. A cup, a plant, a chair, or whatever. Stop and focus completely on that one thing. Do not think about anything else.
If a thought comes up about anything else, simply acknowledge it and let it go. Resist attaching to it and allowing it to consume you and your energy.
Now look to something else in the room. Place all of your focus on that one thing. Look at that one thing with 100% of your attention.
Tell yourself, “This is life right here, right now.” Ultimately, there is nothing else that exists in this world other than now. Nothing happens in the past. Nothing happens in the future. Everything comes out of this very present moment and everything can only come out of this present moment.
Carry on with this idea and activity for the rest of your day. Whenever you catch yourself dwelling on a relationship problem, financial concern, work issue, or general life problem stop and draw your focus completely on the present.
With time, effort and practice it will become easier to be fully engaged in the present moment so that you can live a life of genuine happiness, joy, and love.
Take action now!
Choose one activity that you must do today and do it with the intention of being completely focused and engaged in the present moment while doing it. This can be while doing the dishes, going for a run, doing yoga, writing a paper or article, talking with a friend or colleague, or whatever.
Just draw your attention completely on the present moment during the activity. With greater time and practice you’ll eventually realize just how much more joyful life is. You’ll also gradually begin to feel like so much more can be done in smaller periods of time with less effort on your part.
Do this every day with this one activity for one week and make a note to yourself in a journal of your progress. Share your progress at the end of this week below. OR share your experience of intense focus of the present moment that you did while reading the article in the comments below!