There are four simple words that are ruining your life.
Four simple words, seemingly meaningless when uttered, as if they didn’t have the power to stop time and kill dreams. They are comfort coma-inducing as they insidiously invade your psyche and innocently usher you down the path of procrastination justification.
Four simple words: “I’ll be happy when…”
In even murmuring these words, you hand over your power and your happiness to forces outside of your control. To that, I say: Hard pass! Screw that. Why wait to be happy? Why put off for tomorrow what you can, need, and must have today?
All of us get but just one fleeting whisper of time on this big, juicy, beautiful planet. Why not demand a big, juicy, beautiful life too? The average person lives 27,375 days. That’s 657,000 hours. Why not love every one of those hours, whether you are at work or at play?
“I’ll be happy when I clock out.”
“I’ll be happy when I’m on vacation.”
“I’ll be happy when I retire.”
What on earth are you waiting for?
If your work isn’t helping you live the life you want to live, then you need to find yourself different work – work that contributes to what matters to you. It should reflect the values you wish to live or the lifestyle you’d like to afford. It should help you build your career. It should help you manifest your values. It should have a purpose.
But that purpose doesn’t have to be some lofty purpose, a higher calling writ large. It just has to be a purpose that matters to you. Want to cure cancer? Yeah, let’s do it. Want to start your own business? Go get it! What to buy a maserati and a beach house? Perfect, just don’t forget your sunscreen.
For your work to matter — for you to be happy “now” and not “when” — it needs to be attached to something that actually matters to you. There is no day in the week called “someday” so stop waiting for it to roll around on the calendar. Instead, decide what matters to you now.
Laura Gassner Otting is the author of Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve Your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life. Want to live a limitless life? Take her quick quiz at http://www.LimitlessAssessment.com to see what’s holding you back, and what you can do about it.