I hear it all the time, “I’ll be happy when…” or “When I retire I will do all the things I want to”. It’s very shortsighted and denies you happiness in the present moment. Each to their own but I think this attitude lacks wisdom and an ability to appreciate what you have right now. I never take the future for granted. Perhaps that’s due to my health issues but I have also never planned too far ahead. I try to make the most of the present moment.
Be happy now
Why put off till tomorrow what you could possibly do right now? The other thing to consider is that you have the choice to be happy now. Sure, you may not have everything you want or have achieved your goals but that doesn’t mean you need to be miserable until you get it. When you put your happiness on hold for some future event/achievement, you effectively tell yourself that happiness is conditional and that’s just not true. There is always something you can feel gratitude for, even the small stuff like the fact that the sun is shining or you really enjoyed that morning cup of tea or coffee…or even that you got an extra hour of sleep.
Happiness is an inside job
I like the saying “Happiness is an inside job” and it’s true. You can make the choice to be happy despite the circumstances. I read a wonderful book that illustrates this: “Man’s Search for meaning” by Viktor Frankl – an Austrian Psychiatrist who was imprisoned in Auschwitz during the second world war. He wrote of the dire circumstances but was defiant in his attitude that the prison guards could not take away his happy memories or his inner world he chose to keep as positive as possible.
I am not saying you must be happy no matter what as that’s unrealistic but don’t for one minute believe that happiness is out of reach due to an external factor being absent. We can choose what we want to believe about any event.
Delaying happiness until you get the house, lose weight or find a relationship wastes precious days where you’re living ‘half a life’. Find things in your life that you appreciate and practise gratitude daily. There is always someone worse off than you and there are always good things to focus on, no matter how small.