Starting early in life we learn the power of if … then statements in a very simple and seemingly innocuous way. For example, in math class we use if … then statements to learn logic. If a = b and b = c, then a = c.
The if … then game goes on and on. We play it in every area of our life – relationships, career, healthy living, and finances.
If I am in a relationship, then I’ll be happy.
If I get a new job, then I’ll be happy.
If I lose weight, then I’ll be happy.
If I make more money, then I’ll be happy.
Society and the media influence our mind to think with a set of conditions that help us make sense and draw logical conclusions (this is helpful). But somewhere along the line, we screw up the logic and substitute our own set of conditions that do not follow and, therefore, result in irrational conclusions (this is unhelpful). It’s important to note that happiness doesn’t require any if … then conditions. The Dalai Lama believes happiness is a choice.
Often, we create a situation in our mind, such as being happy, and make it dependent on another event. But in reality, this state of well-being is not dependent on any set of conditions other than our own mindset and perspective right now. Things such as a starting a new relationship, getting promoted, making more money, losing weight do not necessarily equal happiness. Happiness is available, right here – right now – in this moment, whether you are going through a major life transition or in the greatest relationship of your life. It doesn’t depend on anyone but you. By definition, if … then statements take you out of the present moment and steer your focus to the future.
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