How To Be Happy With The Life You Have Now — Even If You Wish Things Were Different

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how to be happy with your life

We look around and everyone seems to have their lives together. Their jobs, their homes, their vacations, their entire lives seem better than ours.

We assumed by the time we reached a certain age we’d be settled, accomplished. We grew up thinking there’d be a line in the sand and at some point, we’d feel like we were successfully adulting.

And then we reached that age and we weren’t successful. Instead, we long for more. We wonder how we ended up where we did. We blame our circumstances or bad decisions. We blame others or wrong turns out of our control.

Or maybe everything was exactly as planned and then our partner left, or someone lost a job, or our health slipped away.

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Sometimes we mess up; sometimes the universe messes us up. Either way, there is no way around it. I know people who have financial security in spades, but whose family life is fragile.

I know people whose families thrive, but who have suffered unthinkable financial loss. I know people whose diagnoses not only has stripped them of health but robbed them of years. There is no way to escape loss, heartache, and vulnerability in this world.

Want to embrace where you are in life even if you wish things were different?

Stop giving your power away.

You are not a victim.

You are not destined to be unhappy. You are perfectly able to achieve your goals. Most people’s goals are wildly achievable. The problem comes when we give away our power to overwhelm, to blame, to excuses, to outdated stories that we keep telling ourselves.

We get stuck.

Do you believe that happiness is meant for others, but not you? Do you believe you are unlucky in love? Do you believe you aren’t able to make money? Do you believe people aren’t to be trusted? Do you believe that if you missed one opportunity there won’t be anymore? Do you believe you are unsuccessful if you haven’t ticked certain achievements off your list?

Hold onto your power. Harness your energy. Live deliberately. Make conscious choices that bring you closer to your goals. Learn to accept what is.

When we spend too much time fighting reality, we make ourselves miserable.

Reality will always win. Wasting time thinking about what "should" have happened will only make you feel powerless.

Better to admit what your reality is and take steps toward a better future. For instance, instead of obsessing because your boss should treat you better, you could accept that your boss does not value you, you could stop wishing the problem away and decide what action you need to take to change your situation. Perhaps you speak up. Perhaps you get a resume together.

Wishing your partner didn’t leave you doesn’t change the fact that your partner left. Accepting the reality that you are alone gives you the energy to focus on the choices you need to make that can support your mind, body, and spirit as you heal.

Wishing you were further along in pursuit of career, family, and killer vacations will only bring you stress. Focus instead on the reality that you’d like to take planned and deliberate steps to lead you closer to your dreams.

Stop "should"ing yourself. Minimize the oozing of energy.

Accept reality, and then create a plan that best moves you through your reality in the most efficient way possible. Accept there is no perfect time in life.

Life is never going to be perfect, and expecting that life will somehow align for you one day if you work hard enough or please enough people will leave you feeling resentful.

The truth is, even our most precious moments can be tinged with sadness or pain. The promotion you worked so hard to get alienates you from your co-workers. Your wedding day makes you miss friends that cannot be in attendance. The birth of your child makes you long for a lost parent.

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Every moment in time is precious. If we are living fully, even the most joyful moments can come with a touch of sadness. That isn’t depressing or unfortunate. That is beautiful. It means you’ve invested yourself along the way. Celebrate your wins.

If you wait to celebrate your victories until the moon and the stars align and everything you’ve ever dreamed of falls into place, you’ll be waiting a long time. Train yourself to recognize and celebrate small accomplishments. Celebrating smaller markers or goals doesn’t nullify your grand plan. It means that you are healthy enough to celebrate the long and winding road toward success.

Success doesn’t come overnight. It isn’t a cake walk. Why not have some fun along the way? Why not acknowledge that your work has paid off and you are on the right path?

Embracing your path, your small victories, minimizes the stress of achieving your goals.

It takes the edge off. It brings you into the present. It keeps you from placing too much emphasis on the future. You’ll definitely be more fun if you can see your hard work pay off step by step. You’ll definitely enjoy your journey more often. You’ll definitely lighten up.

Accept that you are the only one who can make you happy. Being happy wherever you are means choosing what you put your time and attention on.

When you find yourself in a heap of worry, anxiety, and self-doubt it is easy to forget that happiness is a choice. Choosing to see only where life is hammering you down is a choice. Choosing to see the beauty through the muck is a choice.

Even on the worst days, there is something to be grateful for. Focus on your blessings, the things that make you happiest, the joys in life or even basic modern conveniences allow you to live from a place of celebration and acceptance rather than rejection and lack.

You are the only one who can change your life. You are the only one who can choose to be defeated by resentment, blame, and anger. Embracing the place you are in now means setting down some of the struggles in order to see the good all around you.

Every day, we are bombarded by expectations, our own and other people’s. It is easy to believe the idea that life will be perfect one day if you just work hard enough or know the right people or find the magic elixir to cure what ails you whether it be money, love or adventure. The truth is every day has elements of perfection in its own way if we choose to see them.

At the very least, most of us woke up to clear, running water. Most of us have people who love us. Often the sun shines, and even occasionally we find a parking spot in the perfect location.

Beating yourself up for not being farther along is a choice that rarely inspires one to take action. It usually perpetuates feeling "less than." Embracing where you are on your journey is a choice. Accepting reality is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Action is a choice.

You are exactly where you need to be right now. Embrace it.

Wish things were a different? Accept your reality and make conscious decisions to further your goals. Consistent, deliberate decision making that favors your goals is a good path forward. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. And it has a funny way of working out.

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T-Ann Pierce is a Transformational Life Coach. From broken marriages, to new careers, to empowered parenting and relationships, T-Ann’s superpower is meeting her clients where they are and moving them to where they want to be as quickly and as efficiently possible. Want to know more about how you can embrace where you are today while still moving toward your goals? Drop T-Ann a note at or check out her website

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