Just some thoughts from my heart to yours about being happier in the now:
We live in a society where, because of the digital information explosion, we can easily feel insignificant, small, unseen, and worthless compared to the accomplishments of 7 billion others. We might see ourselves as uglier than most of those trending on Instagram or TV and then bash ourselves for not exercising regularly the past seven years. So destructive! We know that we don't know what these famous people really look like on a Saturday morning without all the makeup, Photoshop retouching, etc., but still we can find ourselves moaning about the past we can't fix.
When we see posts, videos and news about successful people, rich people, talented people, we can easily beat ourselves to death that we didn't ride that Bitcoin train or make the right decisions financially, socially and that we always waste our time unnecessarily. I think this is especially true of people over the age of 40.
What good does it do to live in the past? None.
Looking at the past can teach us some good lessons for the future but we need to live in the now and with the right perspective, in order to be truly happy both now and in the future!
Here are 3 ideas, from me to you, to help get you out of the "I should have..." or the "I wish I was..." rut by living in the now and you will be much happier!
Live in the Now #1:
Compare Yourself to You!
"Compare yourself to who you were yesterday not to who others are today. " - Jordan B. Peterson.
This perspective, one of the 12 rules stated by Jordan B. Peterson in his epic multimillion selling book, 12 Rules for Life - An Antidote to Chaos, is gold.
You'll be much happier and feel better when you concentrate on your own progress and rejoice over your growth, victories, lessons learned and accomplishments you've made than by comparing them to what others have done!
Example: If I compared myself to other indie musicians/songwriters who have a bigger following than I do (pretty much everyone else) on YouTube, Spotify etc, and thought that the number of followers said anything really about how good I am at my craft or my importance for others I'd pack up my bags and go and hide under a rock. The truth us I know that I have grown tremendously the past few years and I'l having fun, learning more all the time.
As long as I keep being amazed at what I know now compared to last year and the years before I keep myself out of the "I should have" rut and the "everyone else is better than or more successful except me" rut that simple shuts off my creativity at the root of my soul.
That daily does of humble amazement is so precious to me because it carries me through the heavy lifting required to get a song project fully completed. I know that the end result may not be an industry standard but I demand of myself and for myself, that each and every song is to be better written, more beautifully arranged, exactly recorded, properly mixed and mastered than the previous track I've released. That's enough for me. I don't have to be my best but I always try to do my best.
In order to live in the now and be happier, remember that the goal is not to be the best right now - it is to get better as you go and rejoice over your daily progress.
Please stop comparing yourself and your accomplishments to that of others'. Remember that you bring something special and unique to this world that we need. They say that, "Love is the only thing that you give away and it grows." Love yourself and love this world by sharing your unique gifts with us! You are growing, learning and maturing and we need your insights, lessons learned and creativity!
In order to be happier in the now - remember that the goal is not to have to be the best right now - it is to get better as I you go and rejoice over your daily progress
Live in the Now #2:
Live to Make Your Immediate World a Bit Better Each Day
It doesn't take much work to share your gifts but it does take some courage!
Now that you've placed a value on the things that you do - and have hopefully stopped comparing yourself to others' accomplishments - why do you do what you do? Life is more fulfilling if you live it to give to others in the here and now.
For me, making music, writing and making music videos are about bringing to the table inspiring stuff that lift others up. It's not about showing off what I know - (I'm not more successful if I have more music out there on music platforms.) I consider myself "successful" as a musician when I hear that people who've listened to my songs are inspired through them. Making this world a little happier and warmer is a life goal for me and music is just one way to serve, encourage and help people around me.
When I help my neighbours, friends, and especially my adult kids out by spending valuable time listening and supporting them, helping them with practical needs - that's when the real satisfaction in being on this planet hits home. I believe that you and I are here to make this world a better place and when we do it we feel fulfilled.
Having a focus on helping other people is something that helps you now!
Live in the now #3: Let the Past Go, Now! Use Your Helicopter!
I can't stress this too much. Too many people I know live in the past because they can't forgive the wrongs of long ago. They don't forgive themselves even. They can't get beyond some offence or lack of caring someone else has done. It strangles their joy and creativity as long as they choose to let it. Staying in a state of unforgiveness is like wallowing around in quicksand although there is a helikopter overhead with a lifeline simply waiting for you to grab it and rescue you.
Your "helicopter" is your own will and you can choose to grab the line and pull yourself up by forgiving and letting bygones be bygones. It's not easy but doable. Why not let those missed opportunities, years of no exercise, misses and failures, abuse, be lessoned learned and not your death sentence. Forgiveness is key to being happy in the now!
We need to forgive past mistakes in order to live happily in the now - others' and our own
Just as important, we need to forgive others' past mistakes in order to live happily in the now. I recently wrote a private ebook to myself called, Letters to You Know Who, to help me fully forgive past offences others had done. I had made up my mind long ago to "forgive them" and I thought all was well, but somehow the hurt was still there lingering in the shadows. I found that I didn't hold these people accountable anymore but I still didn't have closure. So I wrote the book to get closure.
Writing the book helped immensely! First, in every chapter, I wrote the background to what had happened to me (from my perspective) and then I wrote an anonymous letter to the person who had acted in a way that caused my pain/inner hurt in that situation. In each personal letter I told them how I'd felt when they did what they did or said what they said to me. Then, I attempted to explain/understand why they did what they did then. (Putting myself in their shoes). I told them I forgive them, even though it was painful for me because I understand where they were coming from) and told them that I had it better today. In this way I felt I was able to let the past hurt go almost completely. The rest I gave over to the Lord and he lifted the remaining hurt off of my heart.
Since I went through each of those unresolved situations in this way, I found true and lasting closure for each event. I had used my will, my helicopter, to get myself out of the pain and I feel so much better now. Like a load off of my back.
Like Misty Edwards the great worship leader and writer has once said.
"All men are broken. Broken men break their children who grow up to be broken men." but later, in the sang song she speaks about the love that God provides that heals it all. God is not like our earthly fathers or our failing friends. He loves because He is love. I try to bathe in His love. For love covers a multitude of sins. And the forgiveness God has shown me by dying on the cross for my mistakes makes me generous so I can forgive everyone else freely - like He did me.
Book tip: Praying Medic's book on emotional healing is great for believers that are having trouble getting rid of the pain. Great little book where he explains a simple method of giving the difficult things over to God. At first it may seem way too simple...but it works! I can attest to that.
Finally, why not meditate on these three thoughts and maybe write an anonymous forgiveness book of your own to get some closure? Giving forgiveness to yourself and others not only frees you today, in the now, it also makes you happier in the future! Let the past go, for goodness sake! Live in the now and let your future be happy and bright!
I hope this has been encouraging to you! Please comment below!
My Music News:
I have now added lyrics that scroll by as you listen to my songs on Spotify. An example is the song Don't Worry on my Change My Mind album sung by Rebecka Wendesten! Click on the picture below and it will take you to my Spotify channel. Check it out and sing a-long with me! ❤️
Upcoming, music releases:
I am wrapping up a song or two this May:
- Jesus I Love You (worship) and
- Seek Truth (slam poetry/hip hop based on i Corinthians chapter 13).
In June, I will release God Loves Rock n Roll - a happy blues song starring a slide guitar pro, and dear friend of mine called Mark Jeghers!
I'm on Youtube, Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Deezer, ...just look me up where you listen to music and subscribe so you don't miss any of the songs coming your way!
Until Next time...
Elisabeth from Featherhead Media.