“I’ll be happy when I win the lotto”
“I’ll be happy when I get a holiday”
“I’ll be happy when I leave this town”
The problem with the happy-when-trap is that we aren’t living now, we are just passively waiting for the future, wasting our life away while we wait. Plus, what normally happens with the happy-when-trap, is that when we finally get to that future time/place we simply start a new happy-when-story and thus never feel fully satisfied.
If you find yourself saying things will all be better when… then it is time for you to take action now!
While there is nothing wrong with long-term dreams and goals, it should not be at the expense of living the life you want in the present moment.
What is it about that future thing that is so important? For example, if you expect to be happier when on holidays, what is it that that you love about holidays? Is it about the adventure? Or new experiences? Or relaxation? Or uninterrupted family time?
Once you have identified the value attached to the happy-when-trap, then you can make one small goal that you can do in the next day or week that is in-line with that value, so that you can start living your life fully now.
So if it is family time you cherish, then plan an outing to the park/pool/beach with the family. If its adventure you crave then take a day trip somewhere close that you have never been to before. If it’s relaxation your chasing then put aside an hour today to just read a book/do some meditation/get a massage.
So if you have recently fallen into the happy-when-trap, let me know what value is attached to it and what you have decided to do in the next week to get you closer to living the life you want right now.