Far too often we judge our state of happiness on the things that we don’t have or haven’t achieved. I’ll be happy when I loose weight, change jobs, travel, buy more, when its summer, when I move house, when I buy that new car, when I…you get the idea.
We spend so much time thinking about the things we don’t have or the things that we feel are missing from our lives that we forget about the great stuff that’s staring us straight in the face.
I often think about my future goals. They’re often lofty ideals set far into my hopefully no-too-distant future where I’m fitter, cashed up, an living my ‘ideal’ life before gallivanting off into the sunset. Fuck that.
For years I looked to my environment, my world and the people in it too make me happy. I constantly was looking ‘out there’ for something tangible that would give me happiness or a sense of satisfaction.
Happiness is such an illusive and seductive beast because once you achieve your goals and your dreams you’re still stuck waiting for that feeling of satisfaction – and it often doesn’t come or it’s a fleeting moment of feeling good.
It’s so frustrating when you have absolutely everything except fulfillment. We spend so much time working towards our goals, fixating on the things we don’t have, working on solutions, looking for a sense of completion and of satisfaction that we forget to look in the one place that happiness truly resides, and that’s quite simply within ourselves.
Nothing “out there” will ever give you happiness, joy or fulfilment. No person, no situation, no job – nadda. It’s up to you to take responsibility for your own sense of joy and fulfillment. It’s nobody else’s job to make you happy. If you think it is you’re a parasite.
That responsibility is exclusively yours and you need to take full ownership for it.
I love the concept of ‘Constructive Discontent’. It’s the idea that as human beings we are constantly seeking evolution or growth. The feeling of discontentment or restlessness is a motivating factor that causes us to set new goals, to strive for something more and to do something more with our lives.
If you didn’t suffer from constructive discontent you would have no motivation to do anymore with your life. You wouldn’t be setting new goals, dreaming of a loftier future, manifesting new worlds…no you’d be happy just to coast along and not achieve very much.
I think the sweet spot lies somewhere inbetween showing up and being responsible for your own happiness in the now, and striving for more in the future. It feels like such a fine line and such a dance between the realities – your present and your future.
Maybe replace all the “I’ll be happy whens” with “I’m doing well and im happy with this right now but I’m looking forward to creating something new and juicer in the future”
Originally posted for Elephant Journal http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/11/ill-be-happy-when-insert-future-life-event-here-tanya-mah/