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I'll be happy when ...

… I get my dream job

… I meet the man/woman of my dreams

… I earn more money

… I move to a new house

… I pay off my mortgage

… I lose weight

… I retire

What conditions do you need to have in place for your future happiness?

The conditions we place on other people, circumstances and events to be a certain way before we can experience full happiness limits us from experiencing joy in the here and now.

Perhaps, in the past, when you had some of these things you were actually very happy. From this experience we reverse engineer in our mind, that if we can get those conditions to be present again, we can return to that happy state.

The same is true for other states too. We try to reverse engineer the conditions for success, wellbeing, peace of mind etc in the same way.

But what if all our pre-conditioning for happiness and success were just made up?

What if what looks like a cause and effect relationship was no more than circumstance?

There is a magic that happens when we start to flow with the current of ‘what is’ rather than dwell in the stream of ‘if only’.

An extreme example of this is the mass shooting that took place in Santa Barbara, California in 2014 when 22-year-old Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured fourteen others near the University of California campus, before killing himself. Shortly before the rampage, he posted a video online outlining his reasons for the killing. He felt he was missing out on life as he didn’t have a girlfriend. He felt he couldn’t be happy because he didn’t have the relationships with women that he wanted.

What Elliot didn’t realise is that it’s not what happens on the outside that makes us happy. Happiness is an inside job – not driven by people, circumstances or events.

Reflective exercise

Make a list of conditions you have made up in response to the statement “I’ll be happy when … “

Can you see how the story you have created around your future happiness, security and peace of mind is based on external factors when your true power lies within?

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