Is there a right time to be happy in this life?
My answer to this seemingly simple question makes a big difference in the quality of my life.
I’ve spent a great deal of time living a conditional life. You may know what I mean already, but if not, here are some examples of a statements I’ve made.
I’ll be happy when I reach a specific goal.
I’ll be happy when my TO DO list is complete.
I’ll be happy when the balance in my account is high enough.
It’s possible you could add statements of your own, especially if you’re a pro at this like I am. I want to say, ‘like I was’, but I’m not there yet. I still struggle with this affliction.
The funny (and not so funny) thing is that I’m usually not happy when I achieve my objective. Sure, there is a momentary high, but very soon after, I set a new goal, add another item to the list or increase the account balance target.
I accept that this whole delayed happiness issue I have is fixable and I’ve made observations over the course of time which have helped. Here’s four that I’ve discovered.
The chances of my being happy decrease the more I look forward or look backward.
The chances of my being happy increase when I live in the present moment.
The chances of my being happy decrease with each prerequisite I attach to a goal or desire.
And the chances of my being happy increase when I release all the conditions I’ve attached.
Yes, it’s all up to me. But that’s fair because I’m the one who views the world this way. Yes, I had help. I learned by watching and listening to others. I saw what they did and copied them.
I was taught to have goals and aims and to accomplish wonderful things. You may have been to. And some of us were taught to wait to be happy until we’d fully achieved our goals. Perhaps the reason was so that we would continue to strive. Maybe otherwise we would be satisfied with less than our goal. Maybe we’d just be slackers.
I’ve always known that living a conditional life would be painful. I think I could tell from the beginning it didn’t feel right. But when you are a kid, you are trained to comply, so I did.
The problem with this is you can’t grow up without questioning things. Without knowing why they are important. And I want to grow up. I want to chuck all the conditions I attach to thoughts and ideas and dreams out the window.
I think that’s where they all belong. Maybe you’ll want to join me in this adventure.
My first step is to be happy to begin with. I’m not prepared to wait any longer. My life is far too short to wait any longer. I’m going to celebrate the simple things, like breathing, walking, sleeping, eating, loving. I’m going to learn from my rich history. I’m going to spend more time doing the things I love, because they are awash in happiness. And when I feel the need to pursue a goal or aim, I’m going to ask myself…why? Why is this important to me? If I can’t answer that, well then, it’s not going to make the list.
So, if you walk by my house someday, be careful, because I may still be throwing my unnecessary ‘conditions’ out of the window and I know you don’t want them either.
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4 Replies to “I’ll Be Happy When”
I go through phases where my happiness is dependent upon my next goal – and it’s exhausting! There is always a next goal, so I wind up constantly chasing the tail of happiness. When I stop chasing and just appreciate what is, I’m very happy.
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Wise words my friend. So easy to loose sight of, but so worth the effort.
Quote from the 12 Step rooms: “If I am not the problem, there is no solution!”
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An interesting way of looking at things and rewarding when one does. Thanks for sharing.