Psychologists call it “conditional happiness.” It’s when you say to yourself, “When [so and so] happens, I’ll be happy.” Could be when you are earning a given sum of money. Or when you are in a position to buy your own house. Or when you get your college degree, or that job promotion.
In short, it’s always some point in the future when you will allow yourself to be happy.
And what happens when you achieve whatever it is you want to achieve? Will you be happy then? Or will you postpone your happiness until you achieve some other aim?
The crazy thing is, this could go on to the end of your life. If it does, you have to bank on there being a heaven. If there isn’t you wasted a lot of time (your whole life) waiting to be happy.
So you’ve got a choice. You can long for something “better” in the future. Or you can make the most of what you’ve got now.
The latter is the route to contentment and happiness.
Of course, you can continue to aim for things and work towards a given goal. The key is to avoid investing too much emotion into it – and certainly don’t stake your happiness on it.
Enjoy the moment…
Author and journalist