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  • Writer's pictureMagda

I will be happy when…

Happiness (noun) The state of being happy. From the beginning of my coaching journey, I realised that one of the most common things my clients share is the phrase “I will be happy when…”

For example:

I will be happy when I lose weight. I will be happy when I buy a house. I will be happy when I get this promotion. I will be happy when I have more money. I truly believe that happiness dependant on a future goal will never truly come. If it does, it’s momentary. “I will be happy when” is probably one of the most dangerous things we can say as it constantly leaves us in a state of chasing and discontentment. It is a mental trap. If you were to go back in memory and find a few situations when you said that in the past, you will realise that it gave you only temporary pleasure and within a few minutes, hours or days the excitement wore off. The feeling that we will be truly happy when something happens really locks us into a pretty miserable position. Not because you won’t achieve the goal you set for yourself, you may or may not, but rather because happiness really does not come from a single goal. Sure getting a promotion would make you happy for a short time, so would losing those extra 20 pounds but the TRUE happiness within is not really dependant on an event, goal or accomplishment. If you believe that it is, you are really just preventing yourself from experiencing joys in every other moment of your present life. Happiness is basically a way of interpreting reality and seeing that it is an accumulation of moments. George Bernard Shaw said it very simply “There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire. The other is to get it.” “I will be happy when I finish high school and start college I will be happy when I finish college and start working I will be happy when I marry and have children I will be happy when my children grow up and move out. I will be happy when I retire I am still not happy and I suddenly realised I forgot to live.” This is not an original poem, I rewrote something that caught my attention a while back. An anonymous poem titled “I was dying”. I go back to it often because it had such a powerful effect on me.

It goes like this:

Do you see what I mean? I remember when I was younger, working full time at an office in central London. I would come into work on a Monday and I would say how happy I would be if it was Friday already. I would literally wish my time away not realising that I could have been happy right then, in that very moment if I chose to. Our lives can be so much better if we look at things differently. One of my favourite authors, speakers and coaches Dr Wayne Dyer said that “if we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.” There is so much truth in that. It is all up to you and no one else. Do not ever hold anyone or anything responsible for your happiness or unhappiness, it’s you and only you that has the power to change this. There was a wonderful article I once read (Apologies I am unable to quote the author!) which compared happiness to a night sky. The night sky is not brightened up by only one star, it’s brightened up by billions of them. If you look at your life this way, your life is not amazing because you lost 20 pounds, or purchased your dream car, or finally got married. Your life is a collection of moments and these moments are the stars. Yes, the big events shine brighter, the big events are like the north star, they shine brighter but it’s all the stars, all together, that make it bright and beautiful. A phone call with someone you love, a smile from a stranger, blooming flowers, summer rain, a coffee with a friend… If you find it hard not to attach happiness to future goals or events, I would really recommend starting a happiness journal. It’s about you putting happy moments in there every day, the little and the big things. It will allow you to see happiness in every day. There is a Buddhist quote that says “There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.” And that is it. Happiness is the way. You will see your life changing as soon as you see these happy moments now, not in the future. Notice the little moments and choose happiness every day.

Love & Light, Mags x

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