you can have it now | experience happiness now | Wild & Precious

The teenager working the bookstore register wasted no time.

He saw the small child’s meltdown before it even had a chance to happen.

Shifting from one foot to the other, fidgeting with her jacket, and emitting a low grumble… the child had the look of a caged animal: Desperate to escape and willing to risk anything for the opportunity.

“Would you like a balloon?” he asked, smiling down at her.

The child paused, unsure of how to respond at first. She looked up at the woman standing next to her, and the woman nodded.

“Sure, go ahead, honey. You can have the balloon.”

The child looked at her mother, then over to the cashier, then back at her mother.

When, Mom?” she asked. “When can I have it?”

Smiling at her daughter as the cashier handed over the balloon, she said:

“You can have it now.”

And all at once the child’s face broke into an expression of awe and excitement. Her eyes grew wide as she reached for the string and looked up with wonder at what she now held in her hand.

You can have it now.

It was a sweet moment to witness, but as I crossed the bookstore parking lot a few minutes later, I couldn’t shake the feeling I’d just been hit with a truth bomb.

You can have it now.

How many times had I been that impatient little girl? Fidgeting and fussing, looking around for my chance to escape the wait, and wondering how much longer until I could have what I wanted?

And how many times had everything I wanted been right in front of me, just waiting for me to enjoy it?

How many balloons had I let float right past me without even realizing it?

You can have it now.

I’ve always been a planner. I’ve always loved setting goals. But, there’s a fine line between envisioning a future we want and ignoring the life there is to be lived in the process.

Put another way: If we’re not careful, in our haste to work toward the future, we may end up deferring our own happiness.

There’s undeniable power in imagining what we want, and then taking steps to make it happen. Major change occurs this way. New skills are developed. Great works are created.

But we’re kidding ourselves if think the goals we set will always bring us joy. Or worse, that because we have’t yet reached a goal, we can’t be happy now.

On this point, the evidence is clear: Beyond the very basic necessities, our circumstances do not dictate our happiness.

So, I’m not giving up my goal-setting habits any time soon. But I’ve made one important change:

Anytime I feel compelled to set a goal and work toward it, I pause and ask myself:


Why do you want this? How will life be different when you get there?”

And to each new answer that comes up, I try to go a bit deeper:

“Yeah, but why? How will this change things for you?”

I keep going until I hit something that feels like it cuts to the heart of things. It’s usually pretty easy to recognize:

“…because then I’ll be safe.”

“…because then I’ll be accepted.”

“…because then I’ll be loved.”

Give it a try some time. It may feel strange at first, but before you know it, you’ll reach that basic answer that cuts right to the heart of everything.

And when you do, it’s really time to celebrate. Because no matter what your final answer is, there’s always one more truth to uncover.

And it’s always the same.

You can have it now.

You want a more honest relationship with your partner? More quality time with your kids?

You can have it now.

You want work that excites and intrigues you? A chance to make your mark on the world and influence lives?

You can have it now.

You want the experience of being out in the world, doing whatever it is you’d do if you felt completely comfortable in your own skin?

You can have it now.

That’s the beauty of being a living, breathing, human being.

We get to be valuable + gifted… and works in progress.

To celebrate the fact that we’re right where we are (wherever that may be)… and strive toward lifelong growth + learning.

To set goals + work toward them… and chill out + just enjoy the balloon.

What you want for yourself might feel scary and out of reach. If it’s worthwhile, you’ll figure out a way to get there. Just make sure you know why you want to get there.

And remember:

You can have it now.



your body positive summer | Wild + Precious



I help women love + care for their bodies, through simple daily practices that anyone can learn. After spending over a decade studying, researching, and teaching body image + mental health principles, I started Wild & Precious to empower women to make the most of their lives by making real and lasting peace with themselves. I share practical guidance so you and your family can free up time + energy for the people + things you’re most passionate about… and actually have fun along the way.

  1. Tracey says:

    I want it now!!! I have a problem with limiting beliefs and creating my own prison of sorts. I am trying to work through it. I love the idea of digging deeper because the problem is never food, or money or drugs, it’s about a basic need that’s not met.

  2. james says:

    I couldn’t agree more with this post. Life is short and we must live it without fear and shame.

  3. Kaitlin says:

    I love this. I often put things off until “tomorrow” and then it doesn’t happen but why do I keep doing that? I need to read this again every now and again and remind myself that I can have it now!

  4. Liz says:

    What a great post. I agree, we shouldn’t always make ourselves wait for something we want!

  5. Larissa says:

    I love this post! It reminds me of something my professor told our class in college. It was a Human Relations class and we had to write a lot of papers about us, our futures, and the like. After we turned in our first paper, he told us he can’t stand when people say “I can’t wait for…” It implies that your life can’t go on until you’ve reached whatever it is that you can’t wait for. And then once you’ve reached it, what then? Then you can’t wait for something else. It made me realize that I was living my life in an endless, pointless race. That’s what your post reminded me of. It’s important to live each day to the fullest. Not in the sense of go skydiving or cliff diving {unless that’s your thing}. But in the sense of enjoying each day for the little things. Like getting an extra scoop of ice cream, or hitting all the green lights. Don’t let your life decide when you can be happy. Choose happiness everyday!

  6. Kerry May says:

    Wow what an incredible post. I love your style of writing and I agree we can have it now xx

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