What do you think about when you imagine someone longing for something? You could use other words; want, desire and crave. Now, how do you think these desires affect your current happiness?
I, first of all, would like to realize that we would be stagnant beings if we had zero goals which would likely not result in a very fulfilling life. However, I think that we often are too far on the opposite side of the spectrum when it comes to our desires. Having too many desires and paying too much attention to them will make it very difficult (if not impossible) to achieve any sort of significant and sustained happiness.
I would argue that most people's minds are continually racing with thoughts about the past and the future. The thoughts about the future are likely trying to prepare yourself in some way so that those future events unfold the way that you would like. We see some of these situations unfolding as we want and imagine ourselves as happy in the future time. The unfortunate part is if we are overly stressing over these future outcomes, and the desires along with them, then we will not be happy in the present moment.
This is unfortunate because many times the present moment is great just as it is. We are foolish to think that our lives will be significantly happier after getting whatever it is that we wanted. We will likely just find something else to long for. It is our disgust of the past or worries about the future that prevents us from being happy in the moment. So, for those people that have a stressed-out mind then I would like to propose that you will need to practice living in the present more. You will need to appreciate "the now" in order to overcome the first milestone on your journey to happiness.
Practice this regularly throughout the day. You might even want to set a recurring alarm or use a timer.
1. Realize anything in the past or future is not occurring right at this very moment.
2. Think about that moment and something that you are grateful for in it.
3. Consciously digest that that moment is good within itself even if it is not perfect.
I think this practice will bring a smile to your face and make your day just a little bit better.