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Seven ways for Now to be happy

The first way: pleasures from results

Of course, almost always, when something occurs in our life as a result that we wanted or a result we were going for, upon getting that result, then Now feels happy:

  • We get a raise or promotion

  • The weather clears and it's a beautiful day

  • Someone compliments us in a way we were hoping for

  • We reach our destination from a walk or a ride

  • We finished washing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen

  • The kids finally fall asleep and we can relax

  • We notice progress towards a goal

  • We get the gift we were hoping for under the Christmas tree

  • We get the news from the doctor that our cancer is in remission

  • We discover that we have more equity in our house than we thought we did

  • We finally make a difficult decision and feel relief

  • We make a good grade on a test

  • We graduate from the university

  • We feel a sense of peace and calm that we were looking for

The second way: pleasures from the process

These pleasures may often look like "fourth way" pleasures. What distinguishes second way pleasures is that they forward some process designed to lead towards something that Next wants.

Nature has been a master at doing this. Nature wanted us to eat so that we would stay alive and reproduce. So she made eating pleasurable, and not eating to be painful. Nature also wanted us to have sex to reproduce. So she made sex very attractive and pleasurable. Let's learn from the wisdom of nature.

Example: I naturally love the dance of conversation with people associated with making some change they would like to make. Even though it's nice if we're able to make that change, I enjoy the dance of conversation regardless. In the context of coaching my clients the "dance of conversation" is a process pleasure since it is likely to lead me towards the results that both my Next and my Others wants in helping my client and getting paid for my services.

Another example: when I was editing my book back in 2002-2003, I was able to enjoy the process of doing that by having a young, attractive Chinese woman sitting beside and listening to me as I was reading out loud to her the essays I had written. In this context, the pleasure I received from having this young women listen to me and pay attention to me was a process pleasure since it resulted in getting what my Next wanted, which was to get the book finished and published.

Discovering or inventing process pleasures is a most important way for facilitating Now-Next integrity. To create this integrity: When you notice it's missing in a given circumstance, ask the question, "How could my Now enjoy the process that could lead towards what my Next wants?" Use the NNI toolkit to help answer this question.

The third way: pleasures that rub off onto Now from Next's excitement

A third source of happiness for Now is what gets rubbed off when Next is in touch with and excited about some result or possibility for the future. What's often missing is our Next has not gotten clear and specific enough, as well as excited enough, about the results that he or she wants. Once Next gets excited, then that excitement will rub off onto Now. Here are examples:

  • Now can enjoy planning a future holiday

  • Now can enjoy exercising while thinking about the toned body it will help develop

  • Now can enjoy servicing a client while anticipating how appreciative the client will be when they get what they want

  • Now can enjoy eating for health while thinking about how she will feel better, look better, and be healthier in her future

  • Now can enjoy going to the doctor with the anticipation that the doctor will be able to resolve a health issue

  • Now can enjoy organizing a messy room when thinking about how good it's going to look when it's fully organized

  • Now can enjoy working on a deadline project with his work team while musing about the great celebration and possible promotion that will happen when it's complete

The fourth way: pleasures gratia pleasure

The fourth way for Now and near Now to be satisfied, assuming Next does not make her feel guilty, does not require any intention or desire for her future to be different. These methods generate pleasure or the reduction of pain in the moment, independent of any anticipated future benefit.

Pleasures for the sake of pleasure.

These include but are not limited by...and will vary somewhat from person to person:

  • eating

  • watching movies and TV series

  • reading novels

  • getting that rush from coffee or modafinil

  • playing with your mobile phone

  • surfing the Internet

  • relaxing

  • sleeping or dozing

  • being with or playing with your cat or dog

  • being with someone you find attractive

  • getting attention from another or others

  • conversation and connection

  • gossip and sharing secrets

  • gambling

  • excitement

  • feeling camaraderie with others

  • watching children playing

  • playing a game with yourself or others

  • massage and being touched

  • sex

  • singing

  • dancing

  • good conversation

  • learning

  • feeling curiosity

  • feeling creative

  • feeling safe and secure

  • feeling liked or loved or admired

  • feeling accepted

  • feeling respected

  • feeling a sense of belonging

  • feeling loved by God

  • feeling powerful

  • feeling another sees you as powerful

  • feeling peaceful and serene

  • feeling intimacy

  • feeling listened to and understood

  • enjoying nature

  • feeling of oneness with everything

  • watching pornography

  • feeling hungry for something or someone

  • using pain killers

  • going to the toilet

  • using feel-good drugs

  • feeling physically comfortable

  • sleeping or dozing

See Gratitude Now.

The fifth way: pleasures from wearing glasses

The glasses we wear, the stories we live inside of, the interpretations that we make about ourselves and the world...these will either support the creation of either pleasure or pain. The following are some of the glasses that we can practice wearing that will support pleasure. The glasses of:

  • play

  • adventure

  • curiosity

  • creativity

  • gratitude

  • compassion

  • acceptance

  • anticipation

  • serenity and peace

  • freedom

The sixth way: pleasures from being present now

Much pleasure is always with us. It is just drowned out by the noise of living in a resisted future, our mind living in a future of projected danger or pain. This pleasure is drowned out by our being dominated by a mind movie that plays automatically about what our future may or may not be like.

Return yourself to now. Let go of your mind movies of your past. Imagine that you're unaware of any future. Focus and become present to only what is now: 

  • the pace and depth of your breathing

  • the sensations in the middle finger of your right hand

  • the colors and textures of the objects around you

  • the sounds as they soothe into your brain

  • the texture of the clothing against your skin

  • the wetness or dryness in your mouth

  • your automatic thoughts as they ebb and flow from one thing to another

Notice that now is always okay. Every now that you ever worried about in the past, before it became a now, always ended up to be okay. Bring yourself present to the okayness of now and the pleasure of being with now.

Even in cases in which you have sensations of pain, if you let go your resistance to that pain and your projections that it will continue into your future, then the current pain will have an okayness about it that it would not normally have.

See Power of Now.

The seventh way: the pleasures of doing nothing

Check out undoing something.

An eighth way?

I am exploring an eighth possible way. Its effects are profound and I am unsure of how it will affect the relationship between Now and Next, as well as Oneself and Others

This approach is so fundamental and radical because, in one stroke it seems to change both everything and nothing by revolutionising our relationship to what we live inside of regarding time.

The "normal" way is that you live inside of the ephemerality of now. Now is always passing you by. This now, the next now, now1, now2, now3, now4... The nows never stop...they form an endless procession of coming in the front door and leaving immediately out the back door.

The extraordinary way is that you live inside of the eternity of now. Time seems to stop or disappear, since there is only now, even though things still move and change. Whoever you were in the "normal" way will either no longer exist or will feel existentially threatened. The "new you" will be the you that you always were but had forgotten that you were when you lived inside the ephemerality of now. This you goes nowhere and has existed eternally. By comparison, the life inside the eternity of now will occur as exponentially more real than the life inside the ephemerality of now.

I am investigating, "How to shift back and forth between the ephemerality of now and the eternity of now?"

Become facile in using all seven ways to help create Now-Next integrity

All ways are important approaches for Now to be happy and satisfied. Most motivational gurus put an over emphasis on using the third method, anticipated results, to motivate themselves and others, handicapping their ability to create motivation and happiness because of their neglect of the other six ways, especially the neglect of the second method, process pleasures.

Make use of all these ways to create satisfaction for Now and, at the same time, serving Next. 

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