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A few years ago, my wife and I were visiting her mother in Augusta, Georgia. I decided to walk into the kitchen to grab a glass of water. Just as I entered, I bumped into a table with about three days worth of junk mail and flyers from various senior events scattered on top. After taking a quick glance to ensure that I didn’t disturb any items, I took a step towards the refrigerator. And that’s when a large raffle ticket stopped me dead in my tracks. Well, it was the words written on it – you must be present to win.

You must be present to win.
Without a doubt, these six simple words were some of the most profound I had seen in years. 

In fact, these words made me stop and take a closer look at everything.
I stopped and appreciated what was around me.
I stopped and cherished every breath.
I stopped and experienced being alive.
I stopped and started counting my blessings.
I stopped and realized what it really means to be happy.

Happiness is the progression towards some meaningful goal.
In other words, it’s about working towards something in the future. However, you can’t get to tomorrow without first living today. And you can’t live today without living in the moment. This means that you obtain happiness by first living in the present.

The cool thing is, you already have everything you need to be present and to be happy.
You don’t need money.
You don’t need a degree.
You don’t need experience.
You don’t need to be smart.
You don’t need to be fearless.

You just need to live in the moment and be happy.
Here are ten ways to do just that:

1. Flip through photos of happy times.
2. Chew your food slowly.
3. Jump rope like a child.
4. Ride a bicycle for 10 minutes.
5. Say hello first.
6. Listen to a fountain, beach or waterfall.
7. Write ten short thank you notes.
8. Notice the colors of your surroundings.
9. Take in deep breaths and smile when you exhale.
10. Smile when you enter a room.

Got it? Now, be present and win…big.