Happiness is an inside job. By exposing your fantasy, you will once and for all dispel the myth that happiness, joy and contentment live anywhere but within you.
Have you ever thought or said, “I’ll be happy or content when__________?” Or, have you ever heard this saying “You’re only as happy as your most unhappy child”? I’m certainly guilty of looking ahead to see what is over the horizon and will be the first to admit that I lack contentment. And, just the other day during an iGnite meeting we discussed the danger of putting all of our happiness eggs into or children’s basket, or anyone’s basket for that matter. If that’s the case, we’ll never get off of the nauseating and emotional roller coaster; therefore, we’ll always deny ourselves happiness, joy and contentment! Happiness, joy and contentment are choices; and thankfully, it’s up to us to find and experience these lifelong fulfilling emotions.
I find the topics of happiness, joy and contentment especially fitting this time of year as goals, resolutions and changes are being pursued by everyone, including myself. After reading the chapter ‘Exposing The Fantasies’ from Debbie Ford’s book The Best Year of Your Life, I was shocked and humbled. I recognized that my reasoning behind fulfilling some of my goals is actually fantasy-driven. Check out what Debbie has to say and see if you too have any “fantasies:”
When we are waiting for one day to come in order to be happy–to experience joy, fun, passion, or success — we are living an illusion that deadens our spirits and robs us of our ability to enjoy our lives right now. There is nothing wrong with future thinking or goal setting. In fact, I believe these actions are imperative if we are to reach our full potential. But living in the fantasy of “one day….” keeps our real lives — the ones you and I are actually living — on hold. Our fantasies prevent us from taking action and making the changes that are necessary to better our lives. Fantasies come in every flavor and are often disguised as goals. They might sound like:
“When I finally get________.” “As soon as I accomplish____________.” “When my husband finally____________.” “When my kids are old enough to take care of themselves, I’ll be able to____________.” “As soon as this _________ period is over, I will diet/get in shape/take care of myself.” “Next year I will_______, and then I’ll be able to_________.” “I’ll be happy when I make more money, live a more balanced life, have a baby, have more time,……………….”
There’s no doubt that timing is everything and the season of our life can certainly influence our goals; however, we must be honest with ourselves and determine if we’ve chosen specific goals as an effort to “one day be happy and fulfilled,” and are postponing the pursuit of a particular goal (as well as our happiness) because we are waiting for the “perfect time.” After all, waiting for the “perfect time” is like believing in mermaids, leprechauns and unicorns. They are nice to think about — but that’s about as good as it gets.
Point To Ponder:
Are you postponing making a change because you are waiting for the perfect time, situation or opportunity?
Determine what it is that you are postponing, and break that change or goal down into small, achievable, baby steps. Soon you will see that taking action today is not as intimidating and overwhelming as you originally thought.