11/10/2010 01:38 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

When Will Things Get Better? Stop Worrying and Start Living

For all of the people who keep waiting for things to get better -- stop.

Stop waiting. You're losing time, whether you are enjoying this moment or not. This is it. It is all you have, so wake up. Live.

I know people who have spent the past two years overwhelmed by stress and fear, and at the end of it, what do they have to show for it? Two lost years.

These difficult days are demanding far more from us than we've ever been expected to deliver. The daily news will give you a dose of despair because, let's face it: Things aren't looking good. Nobody knows when the economy will settle down, when everybody will go back to work, when people will start spending, when the real estate market will rebound, when our retirement accounts will look like we can actually retire.

Nobody knows any of that.

But, I know this: If I don't find fulfillment in this day -- as uncertain as it may be -- it will be lost to me. If I don't find happiness in this day and every day like it, I won't get a do-over. This is it. I'll be a day older, then a year older, then ten years older, and I will have wasted precious time that I did not need to waste.

No matter how dark your circumstances, life is happening. Do you take time to see how much you have, even as you cope with all that has changed and what you may have lost? I love the quote by Frances Rodman that says, "Just think how happy you would be if you lost everything you have right now, and then got it back again."

All is not lost. The things that have changed have hit our core feelings about security, self-worth and the future. But there is much more to this moment of chaos than crisis. This is a time to step out of the worry loop and make the choice to appreciate your health, family, friendship and spirituality -- those things that matter most of all. Seriously, if you lose any of those facets of your life, you will truly know despair.

You may be experiencing real agony because you have lost a job, a home and a vision of what your life and what it was supposed to be. But, when all is lost, you still have the present moment. You can fill it with grief or anger or fear or any other dark emotion. Or, you can fill it with life.

Put on your shoes. Go for a walk. Hug your loved ones and know how lucky you are to have them. Count on your friends and be glad they are there. See the beauty in nature. Go deep within. Pray if you pray.

But live, no matter what.

Subscribe to the Lifestyle email.
Life hacks and juicy stories to get you through the week.