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When they added The Greatest Showman to Disney + recently, I had no real intention of watching it—been there, done that, fantastic and everything but done. Then, the winds changed or something, and I was in the mood to watch it. But can I say that watching The Showman pull his life apart in search of something better was hard work? I was screaming at the screen at some points, sighing and rolling my eyes at others. Ouch.

What can I say? It’s hard to watch someone go through that process of achieving something then it falling apart around them as they self-destruct. Perhaps it is because recently I’ve gotten present to what matters to me and what makes my life enjoyable; love, family, fun in our daily lives. When did those things become not enough to define a successful life? When did the things that make us happy take a back seat to the ‘bigger’ things?

I think that we mistake the next goal, level or ‘thing’ as THE ONE that will make us happy. When, if we took the time to look around, we have everything we need and plenty of what we want; happiness being one. But how do you find joy in the life you have now? Whether, like The Showman, you have everything you have ever dreamed of or are simply on the path? That’s the secret, I think, the key to being content.

For me, finding ways to remind myself of where I’ve come from is important. Not in a way that drags your past with you, but celebrates it and sets it aside. Our history should never rule over our present or our future if things are working as they should. Give it all the love and gratitude it needs, forgiveness too if that’s how it looks for you, and move forward. Not a person reacting to or from anything, just who you are right now.

Then to really, truly be happy with what I have in life, I think of all the wonderful things I have; the people who surround me, the roof over my head, food in my stomach and money in the bank. If any of those things are missing for you now, trust they exist and are available to you. Let gratitude show up in your life for every little thing; look people in the eye, smile at strangers, open your door to those who need a seat at the table. Celebrate the gifts you’ve received and every you have right now, and suddenly, what is still to come, it doesn’t seem that far away or impossible.

And yes, to some of you this may seem overly simplistic or even superficial; a silly girl with her inane ramblings about a Disney movie. If that’s you, consider that being happy with your life isn’t what you actually came here for. Maybe you came to mock my optimism and dare I say it, faith. But, scoff if you will, laugh if you must because, for those of us willing to look around us, even now in the craziest of times, we know there is a lot to love about the life we are living.

Learning that lesson, to see the good in what you have, will protect us. Not from bad things happening from illness, disaster or the worse of what life has to offer. It will protect us from ourselves and our very human ability to survive rather than thrive. Because surviving this life, hanging in through endless workdays and proving ourselves to childhood voices in our head are distractions from the good stuff; from family, love, laughter, happiness and good times.

If you want to be happy now, right now, forget living up to what ‘they’ said you could or couldn’t be. Stop trying to beat out someone for the best piece of the pie or even the last bit. Don’t buy things you don’t need or barely even want to impress people who are too busy doing the same thing to look at you. Instead, ask yourself what matters to you. What is important to you. What are the things that make you happy? They won’t be things, by the way, follow the feeling.

You may just find that you have everything you could need right now. Maybe an awful lot of the things you want too. And if you don’t, friend, I know the one person who can change that for you. The good news you do too. It’s you (and for me, it’s me). Go for it, what have you got to lose.

 

it's a helluva start, being able to recognise what makes you happy - lucille ball