Yesterday, I had the pleasure of listening to a message that was so powerful and at the same time so simple. It talked about how we often hold on to our lives so tightly waiting for the “thing”, the person or the moment that will give us what we need in order to be happy.
So often we wait. We wait for our spouse to come back from deployment to get on with living, we wait for our children to “get it together” before we do something for ourselves, or we wait for our friends to support us in a “better” way so we can be happier. It’s in the waiting that we miss out on what life is really about and we lose the “HOOAH” mindset that we want to embody in our lives.
The reality is that in any given moment each of us have exactly what we need in order to live our lives in a fulfilling way. We all have joy, but out of habit we choose to focus on the stuff that is wrong rather than what is going right. Why? Because it’s easier. It’s easier to wish things were different from to take responsibility for how they are and change it. It’s easier to want than to give. And it’s easier to see the glass as half empty.
For many of us living the military life, we wish and focus on all the challenges. We argue with reality and hope things can change. We wish that deployments and trainings didn’t have to happen so often. We wish things didn’t change so often or that we could magically produce different sets of orders. And all of these wishes leave us yearning for a better life.
But you can change that yearning to reality right now, right in this moment. By shifting your thoughts.
Take a minute and complete this statement…
I am happy with ________________ in my life and I wouldn’t change it at all.
How does that feel? So much more powerful right? The next time you find yourself saying “I can’t be happy until…” stop what you are doing and complete the statement filling in the blank until you feel better. Instead of thinking “I can’t be happy until my soldier comes home”, focus on something you wouldn’t change like “I am happy that tonight I don’t have to cook and can eat cereal for dinner and I wouldn’t change it at all”.
This simple shift in your thoughts will not only create a feeling of contentment and well-being but it will help you uncover your inner HOOAH while helping you focus on what is right and perfect about any given moment in your life.
Repeat the process and soon the “happy moments” will exponentially grow and the direction of your life will shift allowing you to find happiness no matter what the challenges or circumstances in your life are!