Happiness is having something to look forward to.

How do you even stand a chance to be happy in a world that has resolved to treat you so unfairly and mercilessly?

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Happiness is having something to look forward to.

‘When They See Us’ is one of the saddest stories I’ve come across lately; and yet I believe that its key message is that of happiness.

Happiness is available to all of us, no matter how bad our circumstances are, as long as we find something — one thing — to look forward to.

For Angie, ostracised by society after her brother’s conviction, that one thing was her newly met boyfriend. For one of the boys, Yusef, it was his religion. In order to be happy amidst his misery, Kevin had to find ‘his thing’ to look forward to every day.

Being in the moment vs. in the future.

Now, I know what a lot of you will say — isn’t the key to happiness, as mindfulness and meditation experts teach us, being in the present moment and content with what we’ve got right now?

Whilst it’s immensely important to be able to be in the present moment in the fullness of your experience, good or bad, I believe that humans are driven by hope. We need to believe that our present-moment endeavours ultimately lead us to something good, something better, in the future.

That belief can also sweeten the hardships we face as we go about our daily lives and help us endure feelings of sadness, anger, or discouragement that we’re all subject to at times.

Having something to look forward to inevitably gives meaning and purpose to whatever hardships we are going through right now.

Find your why.

In a culture so obsessed with happiness and in the world that is relatively affluent, safe, and stable (at least for the majority of those reading this article), we should all technically be able to define and “find” happiness; and yet, many of us — including myself — seem to be searching for it in all the wrong places.

And whilst there’s nothing wrong in trying to define our bigger purpose — in fact, that craving occupies the very tip of Maslow’s pyramid of needs — focusing on the “small things” is a powerful tool, enabling us to bring more pleasure and purpose into our daily experiences.

I, for instance, am really looking forward to catching up with my friend this evening, teaching a yoga class tomorrow, date night on Friday, and a restful weekend packed with everything I love to do.

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Agnieszka Zbieranska

Agnieszka Zbieranska

Business Psychologist, Life Coach & NLP Practitioner, 200hr Yoga Teacher. A firm believer that we can all be better than ‘ok’, in every area of our lives.