A happy life is lived by taking action.
It’s found in doing.
Unfortunately, we spend most of our precious time lost in our imagination: both imagining the future and remembering the past.
Doubly unfortunate is the fact that much of our imagining is colored by fear and much of our remembrance results in feelings of regret or longing.
We fear getting older. We fear what people might say about us. We fear the next work day. We fear the uncertainty that is inherent in human life. We fear the consequences of actions we have not yet taken, and decisions we have not yet made.
And if our minds are stuck in the past, we are often regretting past decisions, erroneously believing that a different decision would definitely have made our lives better.
Or we may spend our time holding onto memories that provide temporary relief from a “now” that isn’t quite agreeable to us.
Spending so much time in fantasy land is not conducive to happiness. It’s an escape from the energy of “now” that we’d prefer not to feel.
Our imagination is very important, it’s where we come up with ideas and plans.
But happiness isn’t found in ideas and plans.
Happiness is found in carrying out those ideas and plans.
In taking action.
It’s found in moving towards something positive, and not holding on too tightly to expectations and outcomes that are completely out of your control.
It’s particularly found in “flow”.
Flow is a state of being in which you are so engrossed in some activity that you lose track of time and everything just flows naturally, without thought.
Everyone has experienced flow.
One example of flow is when you are so engaged in an experience with another person, that what feels like a 15 minute interaction is really an hour and a half.
You wish you had more time.
You can also experience flow in activities. Activities that are enjoyable and in which you have attained a level of proficiency, so that it is neither too easy nor too difficult.
Every salsa dancer knows that feeling.
You get the right partner, the right song, the right environment. The stars align.
You lose yourself in the dance. The moves just flow. You aren’t thinking, you are just doing. You are in action and it’s awesome. Just one of those dances can make the night a success.
But to find flow, you must do.
You can’t fear an imagined future nor ruminate on past difficulites.
True living, and thus happiness, is found in action.