Conditionally Happy

It’s easy to think, “I’ll be happy when…” Unfortunately, that very thought undermines our happiness now. It’s also not usually true. When we finally reach that distant something we’re pining for, we usually experience a short-lived boost to our mood. But, we quickly revert to making our happiness conditional on some future event.

“When we understand that “This is it,” it allows us to let go of the past and the future and wake up to what we are now, in this moment” (Kabat-Zinn 14).

Have you ever closed your eyes and let everything around you fade from your mind? Something remarkable sometimes happens in that moment. Suddenly, it doesn’t matter where you are. It doesn’t matter how nice your house is, or if your car has rust on it, or how you look. You’re left only with what’s in your mind. Those moments teach us that we have have constant access to peace and a bit of happiness. It’s not dependent on outside circumstances. We don’t need anything to be different from what it is right now.

“Is it possible for you to contemplate that in a very real way, this may actually be the best season, the best moment of your life? If that was so, what would it mean for you?” (Kabat-Zinn 16).


How would life change if you were able to consistently take ownership of your outlook on life?


Today, I’m going to take ownership of my outlook on life. I won’t give external factors so much power over my well being? I won’t make my happiness dependent on any future outcome. I will experience life positively in the here and now.

Kabat-Zin, Jon. Wherever You Go There You Are. Hyperion, 2005.

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