Destination addiction or the "I'll be happy when syndrome" (Emily Fletcher) occurs when we live in expectation rather than gratitude. The Western Culture believes we can acquire our way to happiness and fulfilment, and happiness remains elusive because it is always just on the other side of what lies ahead. We're willing to sacrifice and suffer in the present (and even encourage it) because of the alleged pay-off in the future. Our lives are spent chasing rainbows in search of the pot of gold at the end of them.... and just as we think we are about to grab that pot of gold the rainbow vanishes and another storm starts with another rainbow... Finally it's bucket-list time and we substitute a bucket for the pot of gold and try and try to cram in experiences and all those "I can only die happy when..." items.
And what is this ‘pot of gold’ we chase so fervently.... what is Happiness? I loved the tale of the old dog who watches a puppy chasing its tail and asks the pup why he is running in circles chasing his tail.... The pup replies that it because he has realised that happiness resides in his tail and he wants to catch in and hold onto it. The wise old dog agreed that he too realised happiness resides in his tail but long ago he'd noticed that if he just went about his business joyfully picking up tree-mail and smelling the flowers, happiness just magically followed him wherever he went and whatever he was doing.
We are willing to slave away and sacrifice through the present in order to create a better future and this robs us of being able to experience joy in the present…. and the only reality of existence is in this moment! Breaking free from Destination addiction or the “I’ll be happy when… “ Syndrome does not mean drifting mindlessly and aimlessly through life…. it does not mean that one’s goals purpose and ambitions simply dissolve…. in fact there is a stronger drive to accomplish them that before …. The difference is that the attachment to the outcome will not be paralysing because you realise your happiness is not outcome dependent… You are as invested in the journey and not dashing madly towards some carrot that is being dangled in front of you. You don’t attach your happiness to status symbols and acquisitions, promotions, awards and the approval of others, you know happiness is not the number of zeroes in your bank account, the car you drive, the watch you wear and the certificates on your wall….
Happiness is only found in this present moment, and inside you….. our only moment of reality is our existence in the here and now. Happiness is knowing that we live in a benevolent universe and knowing that all is as it should be…. it is not on the other side of any place (greener grass) person (finding love), thing (acquisition) or achievement (goals)…. To reclaim our power we need to value independence and freedom… to not owe and one or anything and not be owned by anyone or anything and to invest in leading our very best lives in this moment of time, and to billed with joy and gratitude that we have this opportunity, instead of living in scarcity, fear and catastrophising. No amount of guilt or regret can change the past and no amount of fear and anxiety can change the future. The only thing we have that is of real worth is our time, so spend it wisely, you cannot get it back. Your time at this moment in time is your worth and that is where happiness resides! Realise that you will not be happy when things change, but rather things will change when you are happy…. why WAIT to be happy…. it is within you just waiting to be appreciated! Happiness is not a destination it is the recognition that you are ENOUGH, you are worthy and deserving of happiness. It is embracing it and not putting it off. Happinessis a lifestyle, a way of life… something within you that you choose to celebrate in the here and now!