Friday, April 22, 2011

Why People Postpone Their Happiness (Read Time: 3 min.)

We create our own happiness.

If that's 100% true, why is it that most people spend more time waiting to be happy than actually being so?

The answer lies in understanding why people postpone their happiness.

Most of us think that happy translates into a better state of being. When we think of happy, we think of more, better, bigger, increased and transformed. Happy, in this definition, becomes the ability to acquire what isn't currently there. Can you see the problem with that? If I have to have more to be happy, then I never will because I'll forever be on the journey to getting more. If happiness is an ever-improving process, then there is no arriving and staying at happy. Once you get the next promotion or find that next great relationship, you'll also find the next thing you want to pursue to be "happy."

What people won't say about this hamster wheel of a pursuit is that alot of people like being on the journey to happy because they're scared to live there. We like the feeling of being on the hunt, of working towards happiness, of cherishing the victory of finally finding it and the taste for adventure that comes when we discover that there's more happiness to go after once we arrive. It's a double-edged sword. You want to be happy but when you get there, you find something else to pursue so you can be even happier than you are right now. How's that working for you?

Truth be told, people postpone their happiness because they don't know how to be satisfied with the happiness they can create right now. Most people are afraid that their happiness, if they enjoy it too long, will disappear. If they always feel the longing for something more, they can also feel the safety of not getting too comfortable with the happiness available now. If you aren't afraid to lose what you've got because your focus is always on what you don't have, there's not as much to lose. If you can find full satisfaction in your life right now with things exactly as they are, there's a vulnerability that's required to enjoy the moment because should the moment change for the worse, you still lose.

What if, no matter what happened next, you could be happy now?

You can! Happiness, like change, is a personal choice. You don't have to have anything or anyone to be absolutely happy. All you have to do is choose to be so. It's time to say to yourself, "I'm not postponing my happiness anymore. I'm not waiting for the next best thing to come along. I am the next best thing. I was the next best thing two decades ago, two years ago, two months ago, two hours ago, two minutes, two seconds ago and I will be the next best thing as long as I have breath within me." How powerful is that?

When you choose to be happy for all that you have right now and you get good with enjoying every second of today, you free yourself to receive so much more tomorrow. Happiness does not come in the form of a new relationship, a new job, a new baby, a new car, or any new thing outside of you. Your happiness is you and choosing it now means you have to be willing to forgo spending most of your time in a future life that hasn't happened yet so you can fully embrace the life that's moving in and through you right now. Can you do that? Yes, you can...

You weren't built to be broken...

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