Finding happiness with what you’ve got

Happiness can feel illusive at times. We get a glimpse of it and before we know it the goal posts have moved and it slips away again. ‘I’ll be happy when….’ Does that sound familiar?  


I’ll be happy when I’ve bought those shoes, or I’ll be happy when I move. I’ll be happy when I get that qualification or that job. These can all be good goals to work towards, but I wonder if happiness needs to wait for those achievements before it can appear? 

And then we find as we achieve the things we’ve worked so hard for, instead of allowing ourselves to enjoy the moment, often we move our focus onto the next thing and find ourselves back waiting to be happy again.

If we could start with happiness, then everything else would be a bonus, the cherry on top. But how do we do that?


Practising gratitude can be good at bringing attention and appreciation to the things, people and experiences we already have in our lives. It’s not just being grateful for the big things, quite the opposite in fact. Being inside, warm and dry on a rainy day, a call with a friend, a cat on you lap, a nice cup of tea. Small things all add up.

Understanding your values

I worked with a client recently who explored what her values (things that are important to her) were and she discovered that some were unexpected. She kept a list of her values by her computer and when decisions needed making, she could be reminded of her values, so she could make decisions that were aligned with them. 

Find the positive

No matter what’s going on, however hard things feel, there is always a positive. Even if it’s how not to do something, there is something positive we can take from a situation.

Stop comparing yourself to others

You are unique. When we compare ourselves to others it can be so easy to feel we are not measuring up, when really there are a number of different factors we haven’t considered. If you have to compare yourself to someone, compare yourself to your past self.  

Do less, better

Rather than trying to do and be it all, maybe for fear of missing out, maybe to please others, how about doing a little less, but better? When you do less you can slow down a bit, give yourself more time to do things. This can turn something that feels rushed and stressful to something you can enjoy and appreciate.

In summary, it is good to have aspirations, motivations and goals to work towards and there will be days when things don’t go as planned. But remember that you can choose to be happy on the journey, not just at the destination. Finding happiness in what you’ve got today will enable you to live a happy life.

Coaching can be an excellent environment to help you identify what happiness looks like to you, and then to work out steps to help you bring more of it into your daily life. If you'd like to find out more about how coaching can help you, get in touch, it would be great to hear from you.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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