Many times in life we say to ourselves, “if I could just attain x then I would be happy”. Then that day comes and you find yourself unhappy. Why is that? We met our goals and reached the finish line, why do we feel this way?
These expectations we set for ourselves and finish lines we feel we will cross once we achieve certain milestones actually cause more harm than good. Our progress toward things we want in our lives is never ending. There is no true finish line.
Those who live with this mentality of “once I achieve x I will be happy” are only setting themselves up for failure. You are innately telling yourself that you are unhappy until you reach that goal and will then again be unhappy after you have surpassed that goal. Putting too much stake into our dreams can lead to a life of disappointment and never enough’s.
While having things to work toward and look forward to is natural and healthy, attaching the expectation of happiness and self-worth to them will lead to unhealthy habits and a disdain for your life. Rather than a finish line think of a step. Think about reaching the next level.
Each level is merely progress and a moment in your life. It does not define your happiness or self-worth. These levels simply mean that you have honored your wants and needs and met them.
By removing the happiness expectation, you are allowing yourself to enjoy the process toward your goals. You are telling yourself that you are happy here and now, not when you achieve the next big thing. Remember, finish lines mean you are done, but your journey is never ending.