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    And Then I’ll Be Happy

    By Kristen Houghton     

    We were talking about happiness, my friends and I. We were defining it by conditions.

    “You know,” one friend said, “I keep waiting to get that promotion and raise. I can’t be happy until I get it.”

    The other friend nodded. “I know what you mean. When I’ve lost twenty pounds then I’ll be happy, but not until then.” She turned to me. “What about you? What’ll take to make you happy?”

    After talking for a while, we all felt a little down because we all had things we needed to happen before we were “allowed” to be happy! Conditions had to be met, perfection must be achieved. It wasn’t the most fun conversation I ever had with my friends. I came home feeling my life was lacking something.

    Why do we put our happiness “on hold?” Most people set conditions for when their happiness can occur. We tell ourselves that we can’t be happy “until.” Happiness is set somewhere in the future when everything will be just right. When all the stars align, and everything in the universe is perfect.

    That’s like saying that we can’t be happy if we don’t get what we want in our lives. We’re not giving ourselves permission to be happy until we get it.

    One of the happiest people I know is a man who drives a bus for the local high school. The kids and faculty love “Tony the bus driver.” He takes his happiness in small things. Reading the paper while waiting for a baseball game to end, driving the kids and coaches out for pizza after the game; he enjoys it all. He is happy in the present.

    Maybe we are taught to think that we shouldn’t be happy until we achieve a goal. Television commercials certainly make it seem that we don’t deserve happiness if we’re not using the right products, driving the right car, or on the right diet. Or maybe it is we ourselves who feel we don’t deserve to be happy without those things.

    We do need to set goals and strive for the things we really want, but the end product shouldn’t be the starting time for our happiness. Why waste the present waiting for the future?

    Taking pleasure in simple everyday things is something we can do now to bring happiness into our lives. A beautiful sunset is a sign of perfection and so is a baby’s smile. Loving someone and having them love you can bring happiness. Life is too short to put your idea of happiness “somewhere out in the future.”

    While waiting for a certain thing to happen try to find a little joy in each day. When you finally achieve a longed-for goal, you’ll find the journey to it was a journey of happiness.

    Written by Kristen HoughtonRate this article:

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