I’ll be happy when the people at my workplace are nicer.
I’ll be happy when my kids grow out of their teens.
I’ll be happy when we have a little more money.
I’ll be happy when our country isn’t so polarized or the world isn’t so crazy.
I’ll be happy when I get to retire.
I’ll be happy when the kids move out.
I’ll be happy when I move out.
Happiness Isn’t Just For The Future
Contingent happiness – destined for another day – another moment. Not this one.
Of all of the things worthy of planning for the future, becoming happy isn’t one of them. Happiness belongs in this moment. Why would we ever spend a moment of life intentionally unhappy or tapping your foot waiting for happiness to find us?
Many people aspire to be happy because they believe happiness is a condition that has to be met. What if, instead, we realized that happiness isn’t conditional, but is a state of being – a choice – an attitude. I can choose to be happy in this exact moment even if my kids are not out of their teens, the people at my workplace aren’t nice, our country is polarized or I don’t have all the money I would like. Cause and effect is not the way to look at happiness.
Make Happiness Your Daily Choice
Happiness should be our approach to whatever comes our way in our day. It is our world that has told us that, in order to be happy, something first must happen. To be happy you have to meet the person of your dreams, go to a certain school, work for a certain company, drive a certain car… All just yack. All just noise.
Instead, look at the events of your life in this moment and choose to see a way to be happy. Not easy, I know. I struggle with this all the time. My brain defaults to the “I’ll be happy when….” formula. However, if I can stop and notice it, I can consider changing it.
There is no requirement that you be happy – you choose it – or not. But when you choose to be happy, everything about life changes. You’ll have access to opportunities and possibilities that the negative and unhappy mind has ruled out or refused to see.
To be ready for your great and amazing life, allow yourself to be happy without regard to what life sends you. Learn from its challenges and appreciate its successes – both are just events and neither need to dictate or influence your degree of happiness. As we learned that happiness is conditional, we can also learn that happiness is our choice – whenever and wherever we want it.