Forget about Future Happiness

Now lets be clear, the title isn’t what you think it is. Of course we all want happiness in both our present lives as well as our future. What this post is about is forgetting about how we say “we will be happy” in the future and be happy in the now; let me explain.

I am a huge self-help, positive and healthy living junkie, it is almost like an addiction for me and its how I chose to live my life. That said I’m not going to preach to you about my views in public or host a group session to have my opinions shoved down your throats. I won’t share my thoughts with you, unless of course you ask, then watch out because it will be information overload about how one can live a better life and yes, no matter your situation you can live a better life, how you live each day is a choice. Recently several friends have come to me in a down and out stage in their lives and have asked me how to overcome it. The common trend among those I’ve talked to have said things like, “I’m not happy in my relationship, I hate my job, I hate my body, I’m too fat or I’m too skinny, or I’m not happy because I’m single,” the list of course goes on and on. But when I ask them what will make them happy they either say “When I get a better job” or “When I get married” and a whole other list of “When I’s.” Typically my response to them is why can’t you be happy now? Often, I get a perplexed look because they just told me all the struggles they’re going through and so how could they possibly be happy? Truth is our happiness depends on the choices we make for ourselves, at one time that job, relationship or that income bracket made us happy, but over time things changed and they grew out their current lifestyle they were initially happy with or things changed, including their attitudes and some started to listen to the voice inside them that highlighted all the negatives in their life or particular area of unhappiness.

Happiness is a choice and that doesn’t mean that the choices that we make will keep us happy forever, but in that moment it will fill your happiness “bank” and you’ll be on top of the world again. With life we grow, we get complacent and then realize that time is ticking and we finally get it that we’ve been miserable for a while, so its time to make a change. When we listen to the voices inside our heads that tell us to hate something or feel mad, upset or unhappy thats exactly what comes to fruition we see everything we dislike as a highlighted object and the things we enjoy becomes desaturated and mundane. Its time to consciously become aware of that voice in our head and IGNORE it.  It really is easy, you have to change your thoughts about things, embrace the positive things around you. For everything negative thought you think, think of two positives. Also I’m not promoting that you stay in the position you’re in, I’d strongly suggest leaving the job or person or whatever is making you unhappy and going out to find what will boost your mood. A friend of mine said, “well I just can’t be happy when I just broke up with my ex” while I agree, I’ll give time to sort through the feelings and emotions of it all, it sucks, we’ve all be there and there’s nothing wrong with a couple day pity party. But there is a point where you can’t only hold on to the unhappiness that comes along with a break up and thats when you can start asking the questions of “Why, How, and When” in any situation. I can guarantee if you start to constantly dwell on a past experience for months and months the people who were there to listen once, won’t be there to listen forever. Its tiring for someone to listen to a mopey, “poor me” person after being told countless times suggestions for moving on. I get it, you have to choose to move on, but until you do, please don’t come to me if you aren’t willing to make a change and be your happy self again. No one likes a debby downer, right? Here’s a few questions to ask someone who’s unhappy:

Why: Why did you stay so long? Why did you grow complacent?  Why did you start to feel unhappy? 

How: How did you get to this point of unhappiness? How did you stop loving myself/my partner/myself/etc? How can you be happy? 

When: When did things go downhill? When did the negative thoughts start to overrule the positive ones? 

Notice how there is no “who?” When you ask  “Who?” a list pops up in their head, mostly relating to Who’s to blame or who made them unhappy. We’re moving forward now, so the person/persons/things etc that made them unhappy will now become a distant memory. By asking those questions and putting them on the spot, it makes them actually think. Sometimes its easier to be asked a question than it is to figure out issues going at it alone.

Time to shed the damaged goods your carrying and head out on a quest to be happy. Find a new job, live a single life or join a social group, join a gym etc. Dig deep to Answer the questions or why you’re unhappy, what caused you to be unhappy and when did it all start. If you can answer those questions then face it, accept it and move on. No more “I’ll be happy when…” You can’t bank happiness like money and once you’ve saved up enough decide when you’re ready to use it. You’re given a new day each day and its up to you to fill up the meter and use every ounce of it that day.  There’s no promise the next day you face will be awesome, we all have troubles and things that unexpectedly happen and negative influences we haven’t yet cut out affect us, thats life, but you’re given a new opportunity each any every other day to live in a state of happiness, don’t hold onto the past difficulties and bring them to a new day. Reset and start over and start over and start over, it takes practice! 

I am happy now because I’ve chosen to be, I also don’t live in a fantasy land where everything is perfect, but how I choose to handle each situation is why I’m happy. Our future is every hour, every second, every day that we’re granted. There’s no light thats going to turn on that flashes “Now you can be happy” no act of God that demands happiness starts on a certain time or day for you and it isn’t a Facebook event you can attend. I also hate to break it to you, but just because hit your “I’ll be happy when…” goal doesn’t mean you’ll be happy, things change, how people are change and that raise you wanted may be so menial, but you got it so shouldn’t you be thrilled? Start today, push out the negativity, negative thoughts, think about the positives and live a fulfilled life. We only get one shot at this life, so live it the best you can.

I’d like to add that I’m not a professional in psychology or self-help, these are just tips and tricks that works  for me. I shared this with you to offer a different angle and shed light differently on a topic we all face. I hope you enjoy today’s post!

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About CassieNeil

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