I know I’ll just be happy…..
- …when I lose that last 10 pounds
- …when I met the partner of my dreams
- …when I make the team
- …when I get that big promotion
- …when I earn that higher degree
- …when I run that marathon
Have you had these thoughts or reasoned with yourself this way before?
In our goal-oriented society, it is very common for us to believe that when we accomplish our goal or achieve something massive, we will be happy. Now, while I believe there is some truth to this, it is also a fallacy that is important to recognize so that you are not let down when you achieve your goals.
By now, most of you know that happiness is an inside job, yet many of us still really believe that when we accomplish a stretch goal we will be happy. There is a disconnect here. What I want you to see is it is not the external achievement itself that brings joy, rather it is our thoughts about ourselves and the feeling of accomplishment that brings on the bliss.
Here’s an example to put it into context:
Let’s say that you work really hard in your job and get promoted to a higher position with more prestige (and hopefully higher pay!) What causes the happiness is not the title of manager, nor is it the paycheck that’s double what you’re used to.
The happiness comes from what you make it mean about yourself. Most people will be proud of themselves in this scenario and think that they deserve the recognition. These thoughts and the meanings we attach to them are what create the feelings of pride and joy – not the promotion itself.
Our thoughts about the achievement and what we make it mean are what creates happiness, not the achievement itself.
This is great news because we don’t have to wait until we accomplish something amazing to feel good about ourselves – we can create that happiness now with our mindset. Many of us may not be lucky enough to have a boss that recognizes our talents and efforts or be on a team that excels, so the ability to still be happy in these situations is crucial for our overall well-being.
I work with a lot of professional athletes and other high-performers who feel that they cannot be happy until they win the game, the championship, or sign a major deal, but this just isn’t true. External things do not cause our contentment, our mindset does.
I do believe having stretch goals can be very motivating and exciting, but what we want to avoid is waiting until we achieve them to feel good. Feeling good is always available right here and right now with your thinking patterns, otherwise, you will always be chasing for the next thing to bring on the butterflies.
The next time you find yourself waiting to feel good, remember that the peace you crave is here right now for the taking. If you are struggling to find it, I invite you to claim your 30-minute call with me.
Mind Your Strength,
Melanie Shmois, MSSA, LISW-S, is a licensed social worker, holding a Master’s Degree (MSSA) from Case Western Reserve University and a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. After spending 2 decades helping others achieve their mental and personal goals, Melanie worked with Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo, and became a certified Life and Weight Coach through the Life Coach School.