I used to believe that I had to accomplish certain things in my life in order to be happy. Like get a good job, have a great career, get married, have kids, have a nice home, the list goes on. It was not until recently that I realized that I was deferring my happiness to a future period and as a result missing out on the opportunity to live in the present moment. Isn’t it interesting how we do that? How we defer our happiness to a later time when we have accomplished a specific goal. Like I will be happier when I have a job,  when I earn more, when I get married, when I quit my job, when I have kids. Are you guilty of doing that? I can’t be the only one. What is truly ironic about it, is that realizing those things never really brings the level of happiness or fulfilment we had anticipated. So we always end up finding other things to work towards that we believe will make us happier. Here’s what I have come to learn: You can live a happy and fulfilling life right now, no matter where you are in your life or what season you are in.

This is because a fulfilling life is not a product of one big life event, experience or accomplishment but it is a manifestation of smaller experiences that give you a dose of happiness and fulfilment in your every day. Like spending time with a loved one, reading a good book, playing a hobby, cooking a good meal, a conversation with a good friend, or an afternoon walk in nature. These things are available to us daily only if we would create the time and room for them in our lives.

If you spent your days doing the little things that bring you fulfilment, those small doses will undeniably add up to a lifetime of fulfilling days.

This idea is similar to what James Clear shares in his book Atomic Habits. In his book Clear shares the idea that small consistent habits are what make a big difference in a person’s success and not massive inconsistent action. In other words we don’t need to take massive action to achieve massive success, we just need small consistent improvements on a daily basis which are far more meaningful and will build up to remarkable results in the long run. I would like us to extend this idea to living a life that is fulfilling. It is not massive once-off accomplishments or events that will result in us experiencing a lifetime of fulfilment but rather it is the small things that bring us fulfilment experienced in our everyday existence. This is what will ultimately contribute to a remarkably fulfilling life.

So, how can you start creating this in your own life. Here’s what I suggest:

Think about the things that, when all is said and done, bring you the most joy and fulfillment. The things that if you spent your life only ever doing them, you would be very content. What are those things for you? Write them down.

For me, these things include spending time with my little family, nurturing myself physically (exercise) and spiritually (reading the bible, praying, meditating), and making a difference in my work. For you this could be writing, reading a book, cooking, dancing etc.

The next step start to incorporating those things into your daily life. Carve time out in the morning, or evenings after work to do these things, carve time out on weekends to do these things. So that every day has something in it that fills up your heart and makes you happy.

Give it a go. For a change, I invite you to stop planning for when you will start living and enjoying your life and actually start living your life in a way that you fills you up right now. Create happiness in your everyday life. And this is not to say let go of any big dreams you wish to realize, no, not at all. But this is to say don’t lose sight of the present. And don’t defer your life and happiness to a future period (which you actually have no guarantee of getting to) when there is life and happiness in the present moment. There is life to be lived and to be enjoyed right now.