As you read the title of this article, what emotion comes up for you? Do you feel annoyance at what seems to be a silly question? Are you saying to yourself, “Why would anyone postpone happiness, even deliberately?”
Surprisingly, millions of people throughout the world do postpone happiness every day!
Let’s explore the following:
- What is happiness?
- What are some key factors to happiness?
- How could you postpone your own happiness?
- Being mindful
Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.
What is Happiness?
Happiness has been defined as an ‘ongoing state of well-being’ which implies that there is no destination for happiness as if once you get there you’re perpetually happy. Instead, happiness is a journey that you embark on following a set of principles or guidelines.
It has been established that people who are generous and content are generally happier than those who are always pursuing the ‘next big thing.’
Key Factors to Happiness: Money vs Generosity
There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.
Many people conclude that having lots of money will allow them to enjoy ultimate happiness. There is nothing wrong with having money as money allows you to have choices and do good for others. However, the Journal of Happiness Studies noted that once we’ve met our basic needs, more income has little effect on improving our overall happiness or sense of well-being.
Instead, being generous, even if it’s with your time and energy, results in greater happiness as you develop lifelong friendships and goodwill, as well as the feeling of intense satisfaction that you’ve enriched the life of another person.
Key Factors to Happiness: Resilience
Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.
― Steve Maraboli
The practice of resilience is also referred to as grit. It’s also called bounce-back-ability. Resilience is not something we’re born with, but it’s something that can be cultivated.
According to psychologists, grit is the ability to commit to long-term goals and see them through despite the adversity we may face along the road to accomplishing our goals. It is tenacity, perseverance, and a meld of other qualities like optimism, self-motivation, and self-discipline.
How Do You Postpone Happiness?
In essence, you postpone happiness when you add a future time to your ability to be happy.
Imagine you’re traveling from Florida to California in a beautiful camper with your family. Along the journey, there are many delightful sights and places to visit, but you barely give them a glance. Your focus is, “When I get to California I will do this and that.”
Remember we said earlier that happiness is a journey, not a destination. Hence, instead of finding enjoyment in little things each day, many people postpone happiness by saying, “I’ll be happy when…[I get a better paying job; have my own home; get a nicer car; retire, etc.]
Become More Self-Aware
You can easily fall into mindlessly thinking that happiness will result from tangible things, with a ‘more is better’ philosophy.
When you become mindful and fully self-aware, you’ll appreciate that happiness is not a result of tangible things. It’s a state of mind that allows you to further your progress in both your personal and professional life so that every day, you’re achieving goals and reaching new milestones toward a better life.
Qualities like love, compassion, empathy, forgiveness of yourself and others, as well as knowing your purpose, are things you can practice each day. By doing so, you will avoid postponing happiness and enjoy the journey.
Over to You, Dear Reader
What are some ways that you have experienced more happiness? What advice would you give to a friend who is postponing happiness?
It is a tendency that can compromise personal well-being, that of never being satisfied with one’s goals and of indefinitely postponing the conditions for feeling happy and at peace with oneself, waiting for external circumstances that then, when they actually arrive, leave space. to new expectations.
Some advice? You can start by trying to indulge in some transgression, some unscheduled entertainment, accepting the fact of not being perfect and being able to enjoy moments of relaxation for their own sake. Furthermore, meditation and relaxation techniques are useful for learning to live in the present and to free oneself from both past conditioning and anxieties for the future; mindfulness, in particular, helps you become more aware of present experiences and be more grateful for what you have.
Just lovely dear Yvonne! I just had a chance to read this. I could not agree with you more about giving is far more fulfilling than receiving. I just submitted an article that mentions this. Thank you!💖
I so loved this, Yvonne. My husband and I have been working to make a conscious effort to shift the way we think about happiness and creating a more wholistic life that doesn’t leave gratitude, joy, fulfillment – happiness – hanging out on the limb of “someday.”
Yvonne, great share!
Happiness is accepting it un the current moment there is always something good in everything.
Thank you for this added awareness. It’s beautiful.
I recently posted a poem.. “ What Really Matters”…. when we see what Really Matters… we can appreciate what we have and not what we want or think is going to make us happy.
That appreciation is truly giving …someone else wants what you have.. health, family, food, clothing…
Things aren’t breathers.. and there will always be something to chase…
“ What you pine after
Is something for later
Why spend time
Being a chaser
What matters first
Not what you want
But what you have
Without the flaunt
If you let things
Control your journey
You lose the way
And stay hungry
And my favorite line..
True happiness lies
When life is pleasing
Nothing else matters
If it isn’t breathing
So I just had to share a few stanzas with you as it shows I’m quite agreeable with you! 😀😀😀
So true…love this…
“There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.”
Thank you my happy lady.
Paula, I LOVE that poem on so many levels. Where can I find the entire poem? “Why spend time being the chaser…” Great line for self-reflection.
Yes, there will always be something to chase yet we have so much on hand to appreciate and enjoy. Thank you. It’s my delight to bring an awareness or reminder for all we have and can appreciate daily so we lead happier lives.
I’m glad to see awareness that opens the mind more too😀😀🙏
The poem is all over my social media. Here’s the linkedin link. Thank you so much
There’s other mind pokers on my collections
Thank you so much for showing an interest. Cheers my lady😀👍👍🌹
Yvonne, your post sent me back to this talk from a Happiness at Work conference where Srikumar Rao talked about not postponing happiness and what happiness is and is not:
Thank you, Charlotte, for reading and sharing the Ted Talk. I will listen and share my take-aways with you. Just wanted to acknowledge your comment and appreciate you right away.
Thank you, Laura, for sharing your awesome thoughts on the topic. There’s nothing wrong with planning ahead and looking to the future, yet it should not be to the detriment of enjoying the present moment. And after being on 5 Zoom calls/Teleseminar/FB Lives today, I’m about to do exactly what you mentioned making time for and that’s to take a walk and enjoy looking at flowers in my neighbors’ gardens and exchange a Hello or two, all of which make me happy.
I enjoyed reading this article about the pursuit of happiness. I can relate, and I am a firm believer that we create our joy each day. For me, it’s making time to write or going for a walk or a chat with a friend. It’s any number of moments that enable me to live in the present. While it is good to look forward, it is so beneficial to seize the day also.
That’s for sharing this great piece!