As soon as I set some future condition for happiness, I have insured my present lack of happiness. In effect, I have created an expectation, even an entitlement, for something to occur, and now I lack it.
This ends up in the “I’ll be happy when…” syndrome. Our brains get stuck in it, become patterned around it, and we end up in daydreams about when we will be happy. These daydreams (expectations) take us right out of the now and the present happiness.
Believe it or not my now right now is better than my daydreams at most points in my life. If I was to go back to me, then, with have what I have now, I would be in heaven. We just lose the perspective in wanting more.
When we create this future dream, our brains think it is true, we create an expectation around having it, and because it is not in the present, it feels like it was taken away. Then we feel the loss, the lack of that dream.
To get back to ground, to the present, we must use The Gratitude Process and get back to a basis of no expectations or entitlements.
This does not mean that we don’t plan or vision; it just means that we cannot create expectations that our plans and visions will make us happy, or happier than we are right now.
Yes that is right: Our future happiness is not contingent on the plans we make for the future. Our future happiness is contingent on our abilities, on our learning, of how to be happy right now!
Make a list of all of your “I’ll be happy when(’s)…”, all of the things that your happiness is waiting for.
Make a list of all the things you are willing to be happy about right now.
Which is more satisfying?