Beca Lewis: Choose your own personal happiness project
April 9, 2017
When my children were little, and Christmas was coming, I was filled with happiness and joy as I prepared for their perfect Christmas morning.
Joy and happiness lay in the preparation and anticipation. Even working additional jobs took on an element of excitement because I was preparing a gift for their future self.
We can all remember a time when all of us found more joy in preparing for our, and others, future selves.
Now, we live in a world where we must get things done now. Where we expect immediate entertainment. Where we are so overwhelmed with current tasks, we don’t have the mental or physical space to enjoy preparing for anyone’s future self, let alone our own.
But, I propose that preparing gifts for our, and other’s, future self is where happiness lies.
We can prove it to ourselves with very simple steps.
At night, as I “close shop” in my business and our home, I walk around the house and put things away that we used during the day. I am doing it for my future self.
When I get up in the morning, everything is clean and fresh and waiting for me to start the day. If I am the first up, I press the coffee maker button for Del’s future self when he gets up.
These are small happiness moments, but happiness lives in small happiness moments.
All tasks that we do are really for our future self and the future self of those that we love. But we forget that and instead think of these tasks as chores or problems.
If we turn our attention to each task as a gift to the future, they are no longer just a thing that needs to be done; they become a happiness producer.
There is a caveat here.
Sometimes we do things for a future self without caring about our present self.
When we overwork, do things that are wrong to get more money or power, don’t take time for thinking, or enjoying the present, we are not producing happiness for ourselves now, or for the future.
We may sometimes forget this, but in our hearts, we know it is true.
It’s the small things that spring from love that means the most. I think some of the best presents I ever gave my kids were handmade coupons. They were for their favorite desert, a health day off from school, or a private lunch or movie date with me.
Every day brings many ways to gift our future self. Would your future self like it if it was healthy and strong? If it had a cared for place to live in?
These are things our current self needs to take care of now.
When we don’t care, when apathy takes over, when it seems as if we have no power to change the future, that’s when we most need to rebel.
We need to rebel against apathy, and lack of interest. We need to rebel against the resistance to doing what will gift our future self.
Right now, what can you do for your future self?
It doesn’t have to be far in the future. It could be an hour from now. Start there. Keep going. Then choose another simple project.
Move a piece of paper to where it belongs. Prepare some food for later. Plan a trip to a garden. Plant something and watch it grow. Clean the closet one section at a time.
It’s the little things that make up the future. And it’s those little things that make us happy now.
When we view our day as future self projects, we find current happiness.
It’s a win, win, win, and win situation. Choose your own personal happiness project. Your future self is already smiling in anticipation.
Beca Lewis is the author of The Daily Shift. Please click HERE to purchase a copy.