LIAM 043 – The “I’ll Be Happy When” Trap

If you have a goal and are saying to yourself “I’ll be happy when I reach this goal,” that is a formula for disappointment. The “I’ll be happy when” trap snags so many people and leaves them unfulfilled. A true feeling of happiness, satisfaction, fulfillment, success, etc, can only come from within you. It can never be obtained by something from outside of yourself. Listen as I talk about how I fell into that trap, got out, and want you to avoid it, too.

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Show outline:

  1. I’m currently reading the book Clarity: Clear Mind, Better Performance, Bigger Results by Jamie Smart!
    1. Amazing book! So much of it covers not just topics I’ve already talked about on this show, but also what I work on with so many people.
    2. All things happen for a reason and in perfect timing, so I smiled when I got to chapter 13 “Toxic Goals vs Authentic Desires”
    3. I had just finished talking with someone about his goals and how he kept using the phrase “I’ll be happy when…” and he named some of his goals.
    4. In my show with Jaime Primak Sullivan (#41), we talked about reaching a goal and still feeling unsatisfied.
  2. The “I’ll be happy when…” trap
    1. How secure can a person ever feel when they are believing that their security comes from something outside of them – Jamie Smart
    2. Looking forward to feeling successful, loved, appreciated, whatever, by the accomplishment of some goal or relationship is almost always disappointing.
    3. Upon reaching, thinking “So that wasn’t it either…” and setting a bigger, but similar goal
    4. The circumstances of success will not create the experience of success
    5. It’s good to want things and to have goals and things you want to achieve in your life but you cannot look to those things to validate you as a person or give you happiness.
      1. It’s good to have goals, but don’t let the goals have you!
      2. It’s good to want things, but simply because you want them, and you’ll be ok if you don’t get them.
        1. I want a certain kind of car some day–it’s a goal/desire
        2. I will enjoy owning and driving the car
        3. The desire for the car doesn’t own me and I’m not hoping to feel successful or validated for having reached some social status by owning the car.
        4. I just want it. If I never get, that’s OK
      3. I want to achieve my goals out of a desire to express who I already am and to achieve what I believe I am capable of achieve.
      4. I will enjoy the process of working to achieve them, more than I will the final result.
  3. Fortune Cookie: Happiness is not an outside job; it’s an inside job.
    1. Happiness and security can only come from within, not from money, objects or other people
    2. It’s about having an abundance mindset, rather than a scarcity mindset.
    3. Money is good and serves a purpose, but it is just a tool, like a hammer or a toaster
      1. Would you ever say “When I have 3 million hammers, I’ll be happy” or
      2. “When I find the perfect toaster that makes the perfect piece of toast, I’ll feel secure.” ?
      3. Money cannot provide happiness or security, nor can the things money can buy
    4. We carry this idea over from childhood, when our blankets or teddy bears made us feel safe & secure
      1. Transitional objects: something that gives a child a sense of comfort and security during times of change or uncertainty.
      2. We know the blanket/bear can’t give the child a feeling of comfort or security, that can only come from within the child–it just seems to the child that the feelings come from the object.
      3. Happiness, peace, comfort, security cannot come from the outside in, it must come from the inside out.
    5. We feel anxious and insecure when the stock market dips or we are having difficulty in a significant relationship
      1. It’s because we are looking to these things to create stability and security in our lives
      2. These things are important, but can never give us that security. Markets and people are constantly changing
      3. When you place your security or, worse, your sense of self-worth, on things or people outside of yourself, you are constantly on a roller-coaster ride as those things change.
    6. Feelings of security can only come from your secure thinking
      1. Out of my unconditional love for myself, I can love unconditionally–not hoping to be validated
      2. Out of my security of who I am, I am motivated to achieve great things–rather than the opposite
  4. Instead of thinking “I’ll be happy when…” be happy and secure now.
    1. It’s all about how you think
    2. All you have is right now, and, right now, you have all you need to be happy and secure in who you are.

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