Are You Playing The “I’ll Be Happy When…” Game?
Happiness is a choice
Really! Happiness IS a choice that we get to make – each and every day. We get to choose whether we react or respond to what’s going on around us. It is changing what’s going on inside our minds.
I’ll be happy when….
I believe this could possibly be one of the most destructive phrases we can say to ourselves.
I’ll be happy when… I lose 50 pounds.
I’ll be happy when… I stop smoking.
I’ll be happy when… I quit drinking.
I’ll be happy when… I get a better job.
I’ll be happy when… my husband stops drinking.
And on and on it goes.
It’s time for us to STOP saying, “I’ll be happy when…”
The problem is, when we say things like that, we are reinforcing that we are not happy NOW! Our subconscious minds (and the Divine, Universe, God, whoever) are always listening! So when we keep repeating “I’ll be happy when…” our subconscious mind says, “well ok then, I am NOT happy now!” and it is a self fulfilling prophecy!
You may say, ” well, you don’t understand my situation…fill in the blank”. No, I may not know what your specific situation is, however I DO know that until you begin to shift that perspective and your mindset, you will keep yourself stuck in this same endless loop over and over again. (Remember the original answering machines with the endless loop tapes that just went around and around?)
Breaking that tired old pattern keeping you from happiness
Where to begin? The first step is always awareness. Begin to pay more attention to what you are saying to yourself (you know that little voice inside your head that says things you’d NEVER say to another human being?) Rather than using that as an excuse to beat yourself up and further reinforce that you are not happy now, see how you can shift it. Here’s a simple example (this doesn’t have to be hard or complicated… so don’t make it that way!)
If you find yourself thinking “I’ll be happy when I lose 50 pounds”, turn it around to “Why is it so easy to begin to get healthy?” and then start answering it. “It is so easy to begin to get healthy because I commit to some form of exercise every day.”
WOAH! Wait a minute, EVERY day? Yes, every day — even if it’s only 5 minutes. That is a small enough goal that it is going to be very achievable.
The next step is to BE HAPPY when you have accomplished it — each and every day… even when it’s a struggle. The more you are able to be happy about this small accomplishment, the easier it will be for you to SEE the results you REALLY want to have.
I had struggled for years to get a meditation practice going. I had excuse after excuse, yet once I finally committed to just 5 minutes every morning, it began to become routine. Is it always easy? Um… no way! Yet every morning I sit down, do a few moments of centering breath and then set my timer for 5 minutes and off I go!
I totally understand the “I’ll be happy when” game — I lived it for many years. I promise you from first-hand experience, once you shine the light on this insidious head-game you might unconsciously be playing in your own mind, you can begin to find happiness NOW.
UPDATE (4/3/17) Found this great article touching on this in today’s New York Times: READ HERE
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To your happiness!