(This article is part of the ongoing column 12 Steps to Success)

“Too often we postpone our happiness, convinced that tomorrow will be better than today. But it is only by truly relishing the present that we find happiness. Sometimes it is the bittersweet moments where happiness and sadness are mixed together―such as a holiday, a friendship, or a phase of life that soon will end―which force us to seize the moment. Focus each day on at least 2 fleeting pleasurable moments and try to make those moments last as long as possible.”*

Would you be happier if you made more money? When you finally finish veterinary school or get licensed as a veterinary technician? When you retire? Is some elusive milestone standing in the way of your true joy? The answer, psychologists say, is probably not.

Feelings of satisfaction and happiness may improve more than just our mood. They may also bolster our energy level, creativity, and immune system—which may translate into better relationships, increased productivity at work, and a longer life span.1 Sustained happiness has also been shown to make people more sociable, charitable, and cooperative. Those who consider themselves happy are more likely to get and stay married, earn more money, and be physically fit. They may also become better networkers, leaders, and negotiators.2

Unfortunately, according to Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness, happiness may elude us if we search in the wrong places. We may think happiness will come from external sources, including wealth, vacation, weight loss, or professional advancement. However, Dr. Lyubomirsky says the moments of happiness from such events are short-lived.

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Originally published by Veterinary Team Brief. Click here.