Last updated March, 2018.
note: we link to our free guide to mindfulness and meditation at the end of this article (no email required).
Is your mind postponing happiness and keeping you out of the present moment?
Are you looking to the future to solve all of your problems? Does this describe you:
“I’ll be happy when 'this' or 'that' happens.”
“This" or "that” can be an event: a promotion, a new job, a new house, a new car, a new toy.
“This" or "that” can be a person: getting a new boss, gaining a new friend, finding a new lover. Or, getting rid of a current boss, friend, or lover!
“This" or "that” might be when your favorite sports team wins the big game. Or when your political party of choice is in office. Or, the political party you dislike is out of office!
It might be when the economy improves, the holidays arrive, the children go back to school, or summer vacation rolls around.
Regardless of what “this" or "that” is, postponing your happiness until something happens in the future is a trap of the mind.
The trap is, you will never find happiness because when the future arrives, there will always be something else you need to obtain or attain. It's a never-ending cycle that feeds on itself.
Your mind is never content with the present moment, so it perpetuates this trap. It compulsively projects you into the future, to a time it perceives will be better than now; you dream about this magical moment when everything is perfect and you can finally be happy.
The mind also pulls you into the past to relive your mistakes and failures, and regret what you have (or haven’t) done; you often dwell on how unhappy you are and why.
As the mind pushes you into the future and pulls you into the past, it strategically keeps you out of the only time you can actually live: the present moment.
But, you can become aware of what your mind is doing. You can become aware of the thoughts and emotions as they happen. Your goal isn't to stop them. Rather, through awareness, you learn not to get caught up in them. As a result, the mind-made fear, drama, and turmoil loses its grip on you.
And, you learn to stop seeking happiness "in the future."
Happiness starts right now. Don’t make it dependent on something else happening first, or you will never achieve it.
We have a free guide to mindfulness and meditation that will teach you how to do it. It's been shared over half a million times, and you don't need to register or provide any information - just go read it.
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