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?