Practicing happiness 03

You can’t get ahead of where you are.

I used to be so impatient. If someone told me to take a walk each morning I’d refuse just because it didn’t sound like enough.

I’ve learned that a morning walk improves my whole day, but I arrived there so reluctantly!

I’d think “what’s the point? It might feel better, but that’s not enough. It’s pointless, it doesn’t change anything. I need something inspiring, something game-changing!

My old attitude would see me reject modest improvements because they were modest; but the dramatic changes were just too big.

It was a catch-22: I wanted something so huge that it would change my life. But something so huge was, by definition, out of reach.

Instead of walking around the block each morning, I wanted to climb mountains.

That’s what feeling better is. Just feeling better is a modest step that improves everything. It’s achievable because it’s so modest.

I wasn’t satisfied with such a modest step. I wanted to feel amazing. I wanted to feel great. And I wanted life to shore me up with circumstances that would make me feel that way.

That yearning still comes up, but I’m better at seeing through it now. It’s a false promise that anything can feel better than simply choosing to feel better. It’s just like refusing to walk the block because I’d rather do something more challenging.

The only reason I desire anything in life is because I believe it will make me feel good when I have it. But feeling better is a step-by-step path to genuinely feeling as good as I can feel in this moment, and doing so in a reliable, practiced, sustainable way.

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