The key to being happy is not looking forward.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t take time out at points, evaluate where you are and where you are going, and how that matches with what you want to happen. You should. Just not every time you make a small(er) decision or the sun sets, whichever comes first.
You’ve got to live in and enjoy the moment. That is never going to happen if you are constantly falling short of whatever impossible standard you’ve set yourself.
I love introspection. I enjoy talking about it too. But that is a black hole, and I feel that it is my responsibility to only flirt with the event horizon.
So these days I am in a state that I would have, two years ago, called superficial. I worry about the assigned reading, the assignments, the fact that I still haven’t finished a story I have been working on for two months now (forget the editing). But not too much. Instead I throw myself for one hour periods into classes, or research, or camphor-time, or planning-the-week-time during which I create a hard hours schedule that can’t be changed, and soft hour schedule that can, and for that one hour worry and think and love nothing else.
And the result?
I am told I look, sound, and appear more excited and generally happier. I don’t know if I am happier or not: that question prompts introspection and questions along the lines of what-is-happiness; this is not the hour for that.
So I’m declaring this experiment a success.