I’ll be happy when XY happens or doesn’t happen is quite a sneaky happiness myth. I have to catch myself every once in a while too: I’ll be happy when I can live off of positive psychology full-time, can grow my readership or have the freedom to work and travel wherever in the world I want to. These are cool goals but if I keep delaying happiness today for some imaginary happiness tomorrow chances are, that I will always strive for tomorrow.
What’s your version of the happiness myth? Will you be happy when you have found your perfect partner, job, have kids, get the promotion or the house?
That’s great but what can we do to strive for goals without falling for the myths?
We have to remind ourselves that happiness and fulfillment are not always dependent on having or doing something. It’s often how we respond to the moment. As I can attest, I can feel deeply peaceful and optimistic sitting in front of Excel spreadsheets I really don’t care much for.
Another personal favourite is the idea of preparation: instead of ruefully wishing for that Prince Charming think about the kind of wife or mother you want to be and get to work. That way there’s not a lot of time for self-pity and you develop into someone who actually has a reasonable shot at handling the future in a way that will fulfill you.