I'll be Happy When...

Posted by: Jo Banks

Date: 31-08-2016

Are you one of those people who says, "I'll be happy when..."


I meet so many people who, when I ask about them how happy they are, they tell me, "I'll be happy when...


"… I get my new house."

"… I get my new car."

"… I find a husband/wife."

"… I get a new job."

"… My children go to University."

"… I'm earning more money."

"… I can afford to go on holiday/get that new sofa/get a new kitchen/finish the house/buy what I want."

“… I reach my goal(s)”


They think that they'll be happy when something outside of them happens.  They mistakenly think that when they achieve, buy, attain, obtain something or someone that they’ll miraculously be happy, which is a common misunderstanding.


Your happiness does not depend on anything external.  Your happiness is right inside, you right now; you just need to recognise it. When we’re focused on the future, we aren’t able to enjoy and feel happy about what is happening now and we've all heard the term, 'tomorrow never comes'.


When you project your happiness into the future, you create strong neural pathways, conditioning your brain to believe that happiness is always in the future.  So when you do get that new house/car/husband/wife/partner/child, your mind still believes that happiness is in the future and so your ‘happiness goals' change.  You'll then typically find yourself saying, "I'll be happy when I get a second house in the country/a bigger car/two cars/an even better job" etc.


Look back at the things you have now that once thought would make you happy if you had them.  Did they make you happy and if so, for how long?  How quickly did you find yourself looking for the next thing to make you happy?


You'd be surprised how many unhappy/depressed millionaires there are out there. You hear in the press all the time about this or that millionaire/film star/musician/athlete suffering from depression and ending up in rehab or worse.  They have every material thing they could ever wish for and are still unhappy.  That's because they're looking for happiness outside themselves.


How to lead a happier life


So how do we find our happiness right now?  Stop and look around you, look at the good things you have in your life right now and BE GRATEFUL for what you do have.  Get into the habit of thinking about them, giving thanks for them and loving them.  Gratitude is so important and builds deep, positive neural pathways in the brain the more we conscious notice and are grateful for what we have.  Once we sit back and take time out to be grateful for what we have - and we all have something that we're grateful for, whether we choose to believe it or not - it puts us in a much more positive frame of mind which affects everything.


Here are some of my top tips for leading a happier life:


  1. We get what we focus on. Focus on the good things that you have in your life.  The more you attention you place on the positives, the more positives you’ll receive.
  2. Be grateful.  Get into the habit of writing down three things that you’re grateful for at the end of each day.  Do not repeat anything from previous days, that way; you'll be forced to dig deep on less positive days and actively look for things that you are grateful for.
  3. Avoid watching the news/reading newspapers.  Only bad news sells, after all, how many times have you seen good news stories as headlines?  By continually watching/reading all the negative things going on in the world, that’s what you’ll experience.  I listen to the hourly news updates on the radio so that I know what’s going on in the world, but seldom fully read a newspaper/watch the news on TV.
  4. Watch things that make you smile/laugh.  Laughing releases feel-good hormones that reduce stress and anxiety.
  5. Look for the good/positives in a person, situation rather than the negatives
  6. Ask yourself better questions.  Instead of disempowering questions such as, “Why me” ask, “What can I do about this?” “What can I see that’s positive in this situation?”
  7. Remove as much negativity as possible, whether that’s thoughts, people, what you read, etc.
  8. Make a conscious decision to spend time with people and doing things that make you happy.
  9. Stop projecting your happiness into the future, instead, focus on what’s good now.
  10. Stop pinning your happiness on external things, people, situations, achievements.  Your happiness is within you.
  11. Choose to be happy!


If you need help refocussing your life, making it more positive and fulfilling, contact us for a free, no-obligation conversation about how we can help you.

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