Happiness and serenity have a lot to do with being in the present moment. However, many people do not achieve this state because they dwell on the past or become preoccupied with how to escape it by living for a “better” future. When we project (or stake) our happiness on the hypothetical achievement of a future circumstance, we sabotage our ability to be happy in the present. This reinforces a self-destructive mindset that likely will persist into the magical “future” we are hoping for.
To release yourself from this trap, you must shift your life toward a spiritual reality that transforms pain into joy. When you understand that the essence of your nature is not the thinking mind but rather a spaceless and timeless quality inside of you, compassion will arise and you will be free of unnecessary pain. Once you establish yourself in that place of love and kindness, everything will become love, or a lesson of love. While physical and mental health are valuable, realizing who you are at the heart-level is much more critical for happiness and serenity.