Destination addiction: the idea that happiness is in the next place, job, partner or moment.
Isn’t it funny how most of us spend our lives wishing and waiting for the next best thing? I know for me when I was studying I longed for the day when I could start internship. Then when I started internship I couldn’t wait to start community service. And now that I’m doing community service I can’t wait to be done with that! We wait for weekends and December holidays, we wait for new jobs and new opportunities, we wait for payday and birthdays. We keep waiting for the things we believe will bring us future happiness.
Here’s the problem though. Whenever we long for something which we perceive will bring us joy in the future, we miss out on what’s making us happy right now. We forgo our happiness today for what we think will make us happy tomorrow. And then we get to tomorrow and either we realise it’s not making us as happy as we thought, or we’re already fantasising about the next thing which will bring us joy.
We live in such a fast-paced world it seems normal to always be rushing from one thing to the next. We are busy, we work hard and it never feels like we have enough time. So when we do have downtime, it seems almost normal to rush through that too. You get to Friday night (which you’ve been waiting for all week), sit down for a glass of wine, and start planning the rest of your relaxing weekend. You become so immersed in all the amazing things you’re going to be doing you don’t even pay attention the wine you’re drinking or the food you’re eating. The moment which was supposed to be lovely and leisurely, the one you’ve been dreaming of since you got to work on Monday, has just passed you by and you didn’t even enjoy it. Isn’t that sad?
The thing is, when you’re constantly hurrying from one moment to the next, what happens to the one you’re in now? Because really, the only moment that we’re guaranteed of is the one we’re presently in. And if you can’t enjoy the moment you’re in now, how can you ever hope to enjoy any moments in the future? When we constantly believe that all happiness lies in future activities and events we will never fully appreciate the happiness to be found in the present moment. And so essentially we will never truly achieve that desired state of happiness we are all chasing.
The next time you find yourself thinking “I can’t wait for…” just take a minute. A minute to remind yourself where you are. A minute to think of all the things you are grateful for right now. A minute to realise that you can be as happy right now as you can on Saturday morning. Let’s stop rushing towards what’s new and better, and start appreciating where we are now. One day, the moments we’re racing to will no longer be there. I don’t want to waste any of my precious time on this beautiful planet dreaming of when things will be better. Things can be better right now, simply by changing our mindset. If you keep believing happiness is elsewhere, it will never be where you are.
Let’s start being mindful of the moment we’re in, and realising how much happiness it can bring us. No more living for Friday nights, because Monday night can be just as great ❤
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