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Conditional Well-Being or the “I’ll Be Happy When…” Trap

I’ll be happy when I find my soul mate.

I’ll be safe when I get a promotion / salary raise at work.

I’ll be secure when I buy a new home.

I’ll be fulfilled when I lose weight.

I’ll be peaceful when I do yoga regularly.

Chances are that at some point in your life, you fell into this trap. The trap that some external circumstances need to be true in order for you to feel in a certain way.

Why is this happening? You were born peaceful and balanced and trusting our intuition. And then your parents, the extended family and the society taught you to look from the outside in, to see yourself and measure your value through the eyes of others. You were conditioned to believe that you need to get somewhere else than where you are, that there is always a “there” in the future that is better than the “here” now. That the “there” is something worth pursuing and the reward will be a core state of well-being. So, you learned early on that: I’ll be [happy/peaceful/safe/secure/fulfilled/ok] when I [have/do/get/find/earn something].

It is a pattern of thought that says:

I’ll be [core internal state] when I have [external circumstance]

This implies that circumstances cause your internal well-being state. That what is happening in the outside world determines your state and measure of happiness, safety, security, fulfillment, peace.

Pause now for a moment and ponder: what from the outside world can you fully control?

You can influence the course of some events, but definitely you cannot control anything outside of yourself to the full extent. So, the “I’ll be … when…” trap makes you react to whatever the external circumstances have led to. This pattern of thought makes you feel defensive, out of control and makes you expect from yourself a certain way of feeling about circumstances, that may or may not be true when the circumstances will become reality.

Repeated over time, this “I’ll be… when…” pattern of thought disconnects from your inner values, makes you pursue having/doing/getting/finding/earning in attempt to feel better and then it gives you a sense of hopelessness when the expected core inner state did not happen.

Have you even been in the position to realize the external circumstances became true but you did not feel the way you expected to feel? (the new partner did not make you happy, the salary raise did not make you feel safe, the new home did not bring you security, losing weight did not bring you fulfillment etc.).

So, what can you do?


Action: First, stop the “I’ll… when…” pattern of thought. Remove it from your mind and from your vocabulary.


Then, decide that the present moment is the most important for you and commit to your well-being, here and now. Focus on living each moment to the best of your abilities. Fall in love with yourself. Develop a long-term, committed, nurturing relationship with your own being. Learn what you like, what you don’t, what makes you happy, what doesn’t, you’re your values are, what you really believe in - learn everything about yourself. Set your boundaries and communicate them clearly. Focus on you to foster your well-being.

Build a strong core internal state that is not depending on external circumstances.

“If you are able to make yourself just the way you want yourself to be, you can also create your life the way you want. As most of the time it is your own thoughts, ideas, philosophies, ideologies and emotions which are impediments to creating the life the way you want.” -Sadhguru

conditional well-being, success habits, do it now, stop procrastinating, take action for success, overcome limiting beliefs

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