Do you postpone your happiness till the future?

"I'll be happy when..."

Hey, I'm guilty of this myself. I'm sure if we're being totally honest here, we've all said or thought about this statement on numerous occasions. Some of us are serial offenders when it comes to using this statement in our daily conversations.

"I'll be happy when my business gets busier."

"I'll be happier when the kids are all at school."

"I'll be happier when our house is paid off."

The list goes on and on. Tal Ben Shahar the author of the book Happier and Positive Psychology lecturer at Harvard University talks about that most people have a belief that 'being happy' is an end destination and a goal to be achieved. He states that if we really reflect on our lives, we are already happy in many areas, rather than looking at happiness as an achievement that has an endpoint or a ceiling. We should focus on how we can be 'HAPPIER' because we can always be happier in many areas of life.

This brings us back to the opening statement in this blog post. We all too often postpone our happiness till the future. The challenge with this is, unless you're Nostradamus or own a reliable crystal ball. We've really got no hope of predicting what the future exactly holds for us.

When we say, "I'll be happy when..." What we're really doing is firstly not acknowledging and appreciating what we already have in our life (even if it's small or only a few) and secondly we're opening up the channels of belief that our future will be bright and trouble free when we have finally achieved that goal. Like when we've paid off our house, when the kids are at school or when the weather gets warmer! 

Being present and in the moment is often one of those 'airy fairy' concepts we read in self-help books and hear at motivational seminars. But there is great power, relief and wait for it, happiness when we just take time to pause in our hectic lives and reflect on what we have now, today at this exact moment that we should be appreciative and grateful for. 

Yes, paying off your mortgage is amazing. But having a home to live in and enjoy is something to be grateful for now. Yes, when the kids are all at school, this may open up more time in your day. But watching and enjoying your children grow and develop into beautiful people is something to be relished now and everyday. If this task of reflection and appreciation is too challenging in the beginning, just start small. Maybe it's acknowledging the beauty of your surroundings, the flowers, the sun and even something as simple as the marvellous ability of your body to breathe oxygen and to turn the food you eat into energy, skin, blood and muscle. 

Once you start this journey of being happy in the moment and looking at happiness as not an endpoint you will begin to start saying, "I'm happy now because..." 

Dr Billy Chow is a Chiropractor and a Glass Half Full guy.

Vitality and Wellbeing Chiropractic 83380844