The Happiness Paradox

If you are reading this then chances are you suffer from the same issue that affected me throughout most of my career. It is an affliction known as conditional happiness.

What is conditional happiness? It is the process of constantly setting conditions on your happiness – and entrepreneurs are some of the worst offenders.

Have you ever said out loud or thought one of the following things?
Once I get that magazine feature, I will be happy.
Once I get that client, I will be happy.
Once I reach that certain financial milestone, I will be happy.
Once I get that particular car, I will be happy.
Once I have 100,000 followers on Instagram, I will be happy.
Once I live in that one city, I will be happy.

The irony behind setting conditions for happiness is once we achieve the milestone we set for ourselves, we move it before we take the time to enjoy it. Now that one magazine feature turns into 20. That one client turns into a dozen more. That financial milestone expands to be four times what we once set it as.

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with setting goals, achieving those goals and setting stronger goals.

But we should never place our happiness as the reward or payment for those goals, because we will continue to delay satisfaction and gratification forever.

Happiness cannot be set upon conditional measures. Happiness is a choice. I want to work towards those 20 clients. But I am choosing to be happy as I move in that direction. I want to make this much money. But I am choosing to be happy right now as I work to grow my finances.

If this is something you personally suffer from – let me know! Comment below or even share this article. Talk to your community about the conditions you’ve put on your own happiness and the steps you took to correct it.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto
jamespatrick.com

Author’s Note: If you enjoyed this article or found it helpful – please share it with a friend or colleague. Also, please contact me when you are ready to level up your professional photography, graphic design or video needs!

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