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Akanna Okeke: Are You Happy Tomorrow?

Akanna Okeke

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dreamstime_m_5949206Living in the now is a very essential key to being and staying happy.  I’m always inspired by this quote from the book Being Happy written by Andrew Matthews:

“The high school student thinks, ‘When I’m out of this school and don’t have to do what I am told, then everything will be great!’  He leaves high school and suddenly recognises that he won’t be happy until he has left home.  He leaves home and starts university and soon decides, ‘When I have got my degree, then I’ll be happy!’  Eventually he gets his degree at which time he realises that he can’t be happy until he has a job.

He gets his job and starts at the bottom of the heap.  You guessed it. He can’t be happy yet.  As the years roll by, he postpones his happiness and peace of mind until he gets engaged, gets married, starts buying a home, gets a better job, starts a family, gets the kids in school, owns his home, gets the kids out of school, retires… and he drops dead before he allows himself to be blissfully happy.  All his present moments were spent planning for a wonderful future which never arrived”.

This is the story of someone who refused to live in the now, to enjoy the present, to be present-minded in the present moments, and stop worrying about the future.  Worrying does nothing to change the future but it does everything to upset the present.

A few months ago, I made it a task to write down, at the end of each day, five things that I was grateful for.  This helped me to change my perspective on many little things, and on life in general.  I knew I had to come up with at least five things at the end of the day, so I was ‘forced’ to start looking for the good in everything I did.

All of a sudden, a mere phone call with my mother was now a thing to be grateful for; free lunch at the office because it was someone’s birthday was a huge deal; having a good conversation with a stranger was a thing to reflect upon, and so on.

I started learning to find most things enjoyable.  I started living in the moment; being present because I thought I had to be grateful for experiencing those otherwise insignificant things in my life.

How happy are you right now? Are are you waiting to be happy tomorrow when you get married or when you are promoted at work or when your business starts making a profit, or even when you retire?  I don’t think you should allow circumstances control your happiness.  I think your own happiness is within your own control.

I always say that, for me, life is ten percent what happens to me and ninety percent how I choose to respond to whatever happens to me.

Next week, I plan to give you some practical tips on being and staying happy.  But until then, I leave you with this challenge: Write down all the things that you are grateful for this year.  Yes, count your blessings for the year and you will see that there are indeed things to be grateful for; little they may be, but you will learn to start enjoying those little moments in life, like spending time with the ones you love this season. And then watch as those little moments begin to add up to a wonderful and happy life.

So, live in the now and be happy today! And I wish you a wonderful week of accumulated happy days!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

7 Comments

  1. Ella

    December 13, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Motivating, love this article…thanks to whoever wrote this!

  2. Moji

    December 13, 2016 at 10:23 am

    This was such a wake up call.
    Thanks for sharing, Akanna.

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  3. Baby gurl

    December 13, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Thanks once again Akanna. Another blessing in the form of an article. I tend to forget to thank God almighty for the blessings instead choosing to wallow in the failures. I should be more thankful for yesterday, today and tomorrow.

  4. esther

    December 13, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Thank you Akanna for this wonderful article, you have a way of bringing out new feelings in me with it.

  5. nene

    December 13, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    great article! it’s best to live and enjoy every moment while alive, nobody know what may come tomorrow.

  6. Ggurl

    December 13, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Thanks for this piece…it really came at a time that I needed it…I hope to snap out of this depression and sadness after counting my blessings because all the conscious efforts at snapping out has not worked.!

  7. Henry

    December 13, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    It feels good to know I am not left alone on issues like this. Please BN family I really need advice on a personal matter, I always wanted to be a military diplomat ever since I came of age, bit now times have changed, I can’t get admission into the NDA, joining the recruit is out of it cos it will take ages to climb up the ladder, I want to go to school but since I don’t have anybody to help out, I resorted to doing business (buying and selling), by January I would have 500000, but am scared of burning it all at the university when I don’t know where I will get another from. please advice or is it best I travel out with it by next year ending when I might have saved up to 1000000. please help

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