If-Then Thinking

Illustration depicting thought.
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We all do it sometimes and, whether it is conscious or unconscious, it is a sure fire way to crap on the present moment.  It is living life based on a future that may or may not ever happen. I call it “If-then” thinking.  It sounds like this:   “If so and so happens, then I will begin to start living.  Then I will be happy.”  Maybe you do not realize how big a role if-then thinking can play in your life.  Take a moment and name something you’d like to have.  For some folks, it’s a promotion.  “If I get that promotion, then everything will be okay.”  Others might be thinking about finding a partner.  “If only I could find the right girl or the right guy, then I would be happy.”  Some would like to get out of the wrong situation.  “If I leave my boyfriend, then I will feel free. Or, if I divorce my wife, then it’s all good.” And still others think it’s about the money or the car or the house, “If I had a lot of money or a phat crib, then I’d get recognition, then I’d get the sex and then I’d have the power…” Blah, Blah, Blah!

Look.  There is no way to live in the present moment, to appreciate life and to be a successful person, while you are stuck in If-then thinking.  There will always be an underlying sense that something is wrong or missing, which is preventing you from being content.  Actually the only thing preventing you from being content is the thought that you are not.  I define contentment as looking at life without wishing it was different.  It is a highly advanced state of mind that does not come naturally, but which is available to us all if we work for it.  For effect, I will quote a rather coarse friend of mine who once stated, “If-then thinking shits in the face of contentment.”

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