Are You Chasing When?

As in, when _______ happens, then I’ll be happy
Or it’ll be better
Or it’ll be easier

When can come in different versions
Different flavors
Depending on your circumstances
What season of life you’re in

I chased when for many years

This is what it looked like for me

I’ll be happy when I graduate college and have a “real” job
But my last semester of college, I decided to go to medical school

So my when became
When I get into med school

When I graduate from med school

When I finish residency

But I had 1 ½ babies during residency, with the second born just a few months after I finished
So I started my first attending physician job with an infant and a toddler
And a husband who worked swing shifts

So my brain told me
It’ll be easier when … the kids are in school
It’ll be easier when … the kids can drive
It’ll be better when …

You get the point.

And I’m pretty sure that you have your own version
Of chasing when

It wasn’t that I was unhappy at any of those points in my life
It was HARD, to be sure
But it was also pretty great

But my brain focused on the STRUGGLE
Because this is what our brain is WIRED to do
To PROTECT us from threats
Real, or imagined
And in our modern world, those threats are all mostly imagined

Chasing when is also known as the “arrival fallacy”

The arrival fallacy comes from the science of positive psychology

Positive psychology expert Tal Ben-Shahar coined the term
He described it as the “illusion that once we make it, once we attain our goal or reach our destination, we will reach lasting happiness”

But it’s a LIE our brain tells us
Because when we do achieve something we’ve been wanting
We do get a TRANSIENT bump in happiness
But then we quickly revert to our baseline level of happiness

So decide to stop chasing when
Stop thinking you’ll be happy when you achieve your next goal
Stop thinking it’ll be better when

THERE is not better than HERE
Right here where you are in your life
Your amazing, hard, perfectly imperfect life

What if you decided instead to become happier NOW
In your current circumstance, without changing a thing?

Because you can
You can decide TODAY to increase your happiness
And I can show you how

It’s based on cutting-edge science
Decades of research

✅ Neuroscience
✅ Positive psychology
✅ Cognitive behavior psychology
✅ Performance science

Are you ready to stop chasing when, and really start enjoying the life you’ve works so hard to create? I can help you with that!

Here’s to increasing your happiness right where you are,