I have a new favorite podcast as of late (you can see my other favorite podcasts here), the Happier Podcast by Gretchen Rubin & Elizabeth Craft. The idea being to help us take the small daily steps to lead a happier life. I love it because it makes me think and approach different situations in a more positive light.
One thing it got me thinking about lately is the whole concept of “once I do/get X, I’ll be happy.”
We’ve all done that, right? We’ve all been in a place where we put our potential happiness on a situation, person, event or dollar. But is that really how it works?
To me it sets this unfair precedence that the answers lie simply in a job or money or relationship (etc). It sets a certain pressure on those situations or people to have the answers and resolution to every problem in our lives. At the same time, it also sets the standard that we won’t have any other struggles.
“Once I get a boyfriend, I’ll be happy and the rest won’t matter.”
“Once I get a job, my financial situation will be cleared up and I’ll be happy.”
Guess what? It doesn’t work that way!
Speaking from my own personal experiences, let me address these two scenarios…
Yes, I have a boyfriend. Yes, this relationship makes me very happy but it doesn’t provide all the answers to my life, it isn’t the source of my happiness. We live 4 hours away from one another, which means I can’t be there for him every time he needs support and vice versa. It means we have to communicate better with one another so no one worries or questions or overthinks things they shouldn’t. Relationships aren’t easy and I’m not going to put the pressure on him to have all the answers to my happiness.
I am still job hunting, so don’t be fooled and while having a job will help me feel a bit better about my financial situation, it’s not going to carry all the answers and happiness for me in the rest of my life. When I get a job, there will still be stresses that come with that, there will still be days when I’m trying to figure out life and questioning what I’m doing, as much as I may love my job. It’s human nature and the reality of life!
The point that I’m getting at isn’t that we are bound to be unhappy. The point is that we can’t put our happiness on anyone or anything; our happiness relies on OURSELVES!
[ctt title=”Our happiness relies on OURSELVES!” tweet=””Our happiness relies on OURSELVES!” http://ctt.ec/f1C09+ via @talkless_saymor” coverup=”f1C09″]
These things around us can bring us happiness but they won’t bring us ALL of the happiness.
This is a lesson I learned several years ago and as such, I learned to take the “once I get X, I’ll be happy” statement OUT of my vocabulary and it made a huge difference in my happiness. Now, when I catch others saying this phrase, I want to stop them and make them realize they are just hurting themselves as they make these statements. Take ownership of your happiness and I’m sure that is the moment you’ll find it.
Have you ever caught yourself saying this? How did you stop?
I LOVE this podcast! It teaches you to live in the moment and the little tweaks make a big difference. I listen to them on my runs so my endorphins are going through the roof!
What others do you like?
Here’s a post with all my other favorites listed out: https://www.talkless-saymore.com/my-favorite-podcasts-to-listen-to-while-driving/
This is such a great post, and something really important for people (myself included to realise). We always think when we achieve something, or reach a certain goal life will be perfect, but that’s not reality. Great post.
Used to think this way many years ago – until I kept getting what I wanted and could see how short-lived any joy it brought really was. Today I believe that happiness is something that comes from within and regardless of what is going on around us, we get to choose to feel it.
It’s a hard lesson to learn but I’m glad you did! 🙂
Darn I had a post but it didn’t show. The gist was great post: eary to hear and hard to live by
Sigh, I love this post, it helps me to realize the truth even at this point I am not practicing
Well, then consider this your wake up call to start practicing again.. 😉
Wonderful post, have to remind myself to put myself first some times. I’m always helping everybody else, that my time and needs suffer. Thanks for sharing this.
Girl, put yourself first! I was talking to a friend about this the other day, sometimes it’s important to be a little selfish! (Not in a way that HURTS others, but that reminds us we deserve to be cared for as well.)
I say that all the time, If I worked more hours, I would have more money and wouldn’t have to worry as much…of course then I sacrifice spending time with my family, which makes me feel bad because I miss out on moments I don’t want to miss. I am still working on a balance but I do know that money isn’t everything and someone that is here today might not be here tomorrow.
It IS a balance and you’ll find it but start by changing your statement. I swear just simply losing the “I’ll be happier when I have more money” verbiage, you will find yourself ALREADY starting to be happier.
This is so true although I’m guilty if doing this sometimes!!
We all are! The point is to start becoming more aware so we can do it less and less. 🙂
You will be happy when you CHOOSE to be HAPPY unconditionally regardless of your circumstances.
Thats my words of wisdom for today:)
Glad we’re on the same page with what I said.. 😉
I am so happy you wrote a post like this, Katie! I used to fall victim to this type of thinking all. the. time. I’ll be happy when I graduate. When I finish grad school. When I move away from Philadelphia. Jeez! Eventually it’ll all catch up to you and send you into a spiral, man!
Do you have a favorite episode of Gretchin’s podcast that I can start on? I recently got hooked (hard!) on podcasts.
That’s a tough one BUT since I’ve heard them more recently, episode #28: Don’t Interview for Pain & episode #30: interview w/ Gretchen’s 16 year old daughter. There’s less than 35 episodes and since they aren’t too long, there’s not TOO many to catch up on but I really like them!
This is me all. the. time. Tell me to stop!!
<3 this post!!
STOP! <3 you!
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Your approach at this topic is great! So very true! Its always good to have goals, not fairy tale endings! 😀
We’d all love a fairy tale ending, wouldn’t it? But it’s not reality.
That’s so true— This circle never ends; there’s always something next on the list! But happiness is a decision.
— DT | Here I Scribble
Yes, everyone needs to hear this. It’s great for everyone to remember that
liz @ sundays with sophie
I know that I’m guilty of thinking that I’ll be happy when XY or Z happens. Thanks for the reminder!
You got it, girl! 😉
You are so so so right. I’ve said this myself more times than I care to admit. You have a great message here which is that we need to stop putting so much emphasis on happiness coming from anywhere BUT within. Ultimately we can create our own happiness. Today if we choose to. Thanks for this 🙂
Yes. Yes. YES!
i totally agree with this post!! happiness comprises of all the things that are in your life that you have worked for – not just one or two things! and especially not material possessions. happiness is always a journey IMO, and you find the things that make you happy as life goes on, and sometimes they will change!
It is a journey! Life is a journey comprised of many components, happiness is one of them!
This is something I am struggling with. Even this morning. But perspective helps so much. There are so many wonderful things to be thankful for. One of my favorite quotes I have seen in “Every day might not be good, but there is something good in everyday.” or something like that. I have been trying really hard to keep my eyes on the things that matter. And to not get overwhelmed and frustrated by situations I can not control.
I’ve heard that quote and it’s SO true! It’s something that we have to remember, even when things get kind of tough.
Used to be SO guilty of doing this, but I haven’t actually noticed myself doing it that much over the past handful of years. I think that practicing gratitude regularly helped a lot, as well as just looking at things logically. Focusing on the things I don’t yet have doesn’t make me happy, so why waste my time and energy doing that?
Exactly! I love hearing when other people have been able to make that switch and drop the “I’ll be happy when..” mentality. I know it took me awhile to come to this place, so I love hearing others doing it too. 🙂
Great tips! It is so important to find joy with yourself first.
I’m with Carla, I think that I’ve just arrived at a point where I really know that this train of thought arrives at nowhere. I have been surrounded by enough miserable people who have “enviable” lives. What they always lack is gratitude. Happiness is one of those things that cannot truly be achieved by external forces, it comes from being thankful and having perspective (which I suppose is often confused with projection; “I’ll be happy when _______”). I spent a lot of my life comparing, bitching, and thinking things, achievements, etc would make me happy, but they never did. It wasn’t until I really started to appreciate what I had going for me already that I could get to a “place of happy.” Great post!
“I have been surrounded by enough miserable people who have “enviable” lives. What they always lack is gratitude.” <-THIS!! Spot ON! I spent a lot of time this past year with someone who was exactly like this and it's VERY hard to be around people like that. It's almost contagious and I had to really dig in deep to myself and now that I've been able to separate myself, I'm coming to all these realizations again and seeing just how much I learned about myself during that time. (sorry...rant) 😉
Now you have me thinking about how I broke this cycle!
Quite frankly I think the only way I did – – was aging 🙂
There’s nothing wrong with that! I think that’s part of it! For some of us, we learn the lesson at different points of our lives based on certain experiences but it’s a lesson we learn through “growing up.”