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!
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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?