I’ll Be Happy When…
Do you find yourself saying this? We all do it, don’t we! I’ll be happy when it’s the weekend, I’ll be happy when I get that pay rise, I’ll be happy when the kids are a bit more independent, I’ll be happy when I have some savings in the bank...find out why we think this is one of the most dangerous mindsets you can have!
It creeps in
I don’t know when it first happens, that we begin thinking in this fashion. I’m pretty sure that kids are just happy with what they have when they have it - they don’t really attach happiness to something having to come along to make them happy. If anything, it just adds to it, it’s more of, “I can’t wait for it!” than, “I’ll be happy when it comes along”...and there’s a world of difference between those two ways of thinking.
As we grow, this insidious way of thinking starts to creep in. We have what I call, ‘conditional happiness’. The concept of us being happy starts to have conditions on it and worryingly, those conditions are dependant on things outside of our control coming into play. I remember when I was younger, thinking that I would be happy once I was a size 8. I would do an array of crash diets to squeeze into a dress for something then of course I wasn’t happy still. Then I needed a certain guy to like me - then I would definitely be happy. Then the guy would like me, then I would be happy once I felt confident about our relationship…and so it went on.
Welcome to your ego
I know I’m not alone in thinking this way. It’s pretty common and from what I can see, it’s a bad habit that just gets worse and worse as we get older because we become more accustomed to that we of thinking. From a career perspective, we often believe that this way of thinking is what has made us so successful. Had we not always pushed ourselves hard by wanting that next level, promotion, acquisition, wanting more, better, faster...that drive and determination is what pushes us right? That striving, that hunger is what fuels us to keep stretching ourselves. Then when we get that thing we have tried so hard to get - we don’t really feel a joy for what we have done. It’s more like relief and then within nano-seconds we are already thinking...what’s next! Because really, it was the fear of not achieving it, that often was the fuel, not the desire - and that fear is greedy. It just keeps wanting more. That’s your ego in full swing.
Thinking in this way is the opposite of being present. It’s blocking you from seeing the happiness that you have all around you now because you’re always seeing your happiness as falling slightly short. When you think about it, isn’t that sad? I can’t count how many moments in my life I’ve thrown away by thinking in my head that ‘I will be happy when’...I remember being on my first family holiday abroad when Kaleb was three years old and thinking, ‘I will be so much happier the next time we come away because I will lose some more weight’...What?! How on earth is seeing my child playing in a water park in the beautiful Cyprus sunshine going to feel better because my butt is one size smaller?! Thankfully I heard my own Crazy Lady talking (that’s my inner critical voice) and told her to shut up and I then absorbed myself in the joy of the moment.
Be happy right now
Happiness isn’t conditional. It isn’t something you get from the HR Department. It isn’t something that someone can give you. It is a state of being that you choose to have. It’s a way of living. It’s a way of thinking. You have the ability to choose to be happy in any given second of your life. How amazing is that?
Take this moment, just close your eyes for a second and remind yourself how lucky you are, revel in how fabulous it is right now that you’re here - whatever your position, whatever your relationship status, whatever your bank balance, whatever size your jeans are right now...you are here, you are fabulous and you can choose to be happy this very second.
Love and happiness,
Donna & Cheryl