How To Choose Happiness Now, And Not Save It For Later

I’ve seen a lot on Facebook; funny videos, talking animals, ridiculous memes, but recently I saw something that has changed the way I live my life. It was a quote:

Beware of destination addiction - a preoccupation with the idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job, and with the next partner. Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are.

I read the photo-quote with a poorly chosen font a few times, and really stopped to think about it. I know that for me, I am incredibly guilty of believing happiness comes from reaching one’s goals. It’s true, goals are important to move forward, and find meaning in our everyday works. However, finding meaning, and living in happiness are two entirely separate things. 

After a few minutes of thought, I decided two things, one being that it’s very easy to either find happiness in future plans, and that other that it is also very easy to find happiness in the present moment. 

Think about that for a second, we can easily find happiness in planning for our next vacation: “I am so excited for Hawaii, I can’t wait!” Or, we can live in happiness in the moment: “I am looking out my window, and am enjoying the beautiful view.” Either way, our mind is set in a happy place; however, what happens if your trip to Hawaii gets canceled? What if the trip doesn’t go as planned? Do you still feel happiness, or do you feel disappointment in the fact that things didn’t go as you had planned? 

Perhaps some of you are thinking to yourself, doesn’t everyone live in the present? Well, I am here to come clean and say that no, I don’t. I’d like to, but it’s a lot harder for me to live in the moment than to live in the future. 

I’ve lived my entire life in “future” mode. From the time I was six, I was planning, goal setting, and calendar making. Sure, some of my greatest memories were spur of the moment fun, but equally great were those times I reached my goals. Yet, as my core values change, I am finding that a sense of accomplishment or purpose are not the same things as a sense of happiness. 

Maybe it’s easy for me to write this post and claim, “I will now be living in the moment,” because I am currently sitting on a balcony looking over the beautiful Pacific, but I believe that all of us can find happiness in the present. Just as the quote said, if you believe it is in the future, it will never be with you. So, from here on out, I vow to myself and to my husband, that my happiness will be with me, ever present, in every moment. This isn’t to say that I won’t be setting goals any more, but it is to say that I will be kicking the habit of destination addiction, cold turkey. 

I’ll let you know how it goes.