Dealing with the popular myth: “I will be happy when …”
What do you think people are most often disappointed with? No, you are wrong, not because of the defeats, but because of the achievements.
If you’ve ever worked hard to achieve something, and instead of the expected triumph fell into depression, know that this feeling is normal and even has a definition. More precisely, several. Arrival fallacy is the effect we experience when the belief in long-awaited satisfaction crumbles to dust, despite the power of expectation. Another term is “success hangover” – a state following the euphoria of achievement, reminiscent of real abstinence and also, as you know, unhappy.
We often think we’ll be happy when we get a job, have a boyfriend, get married, get a promotion, have a baby, move out. In reality, achievements rarely meet expectations. Because until the moment you arrived at your destination, you were already happy with the wait, and now you are forced to part with this powerful stimulant. The trick is that the path to the goal can be more pleasant than the outlined horizons – the most interesting comes not later, but now.
Hangover disappointment does not deprive achievements of attractiveness. The goals, of course, are important, you just need to rebuild the attitude towards them, for which a couple of polar, but effective strategies are proposed.
#1. SET LOTS OF GOALS
One of the ways to get around or mitigate possible disappointment is to find several simultaneous goals in different planes of being, in personal and work life. Thus, when one goal is achieved or “sour” at the finish, you can switch your attention to another, without waiting for serious disappointment. In other words, do not merge energy into one achievement, multiply ideas for implementation.
# 2. REFUSE THEM ALL
Another approach is to have no goals or to be very vague about them. Buddhists, by the way, have accumulated a lot of advice on how to overcome the “whirlwind of desires.” For example, when you notice that you compulsively want something, imagine that you will never have it. Pay attention to any emotions that come with this awareness, such as anger or fear, and the arguments you use to prove to yourself why you need to have what you want right now. “End the practice with a short gesture of kindness, placing your hand on your heart or some other part of your body,” the guru advises. Let’s say, but what’s the point? So to sit without desires and achievements? Don’t want, don’t waste, don’t love?
By the way, about love. It’s more difficult here. Relationship frustration comes in two flavors: natural and not-so-so. In the first case, you can lose your ardor in the process of communication, having got to know it better – and either run away or accept it as it is (“Well, yes, not an eagle, but I will love it anyway”). And there are situations when the process of depreciation is deliberately turned on, sticking out unpleasant details – this is how the mechanism of psychological defense works, which helps not to get bogged down in toxic relationships. Almost like in the fable of a fox persuading herself that she doesn’t want the grapes because they are not ripe yet (although they look terribly seductive).
Devaluation pain relievers, but puts an end to the possibility of change, including for the better. The most healing process in a relationship is disappointment without devaluation, disillusionment while maintaining respect for the past and faith in new feelings. Those who are united by something more than naive charm and blind passion, time and shared experience will bond even more firmly.
Maybe it’s worth giving up under the pressure of unrealized goals and inevitable disappointments? Laugh and let go, let them be. Knowing that accomplishments are unlikely to add to your happiness doesn’t really change your cravings. For example, I have been dying for half my life with the desire to arrange a wedding with a veil and a dress, although I know that this will change little. But until I experience this, I will hang in the curiosity phase. I want it, and that’s it. And if this is fraught with disappointment, at least I can experience it.