I was listening to the Internet Business Mastery podcast today, and Jeremy and Jason mentioned a phrase that has haunted me for years.
They mentioned it in passing, so it clearly wasn't something that they've wrestled with to any degree.
But the fact that this phrase actually had a name distracted me for several minutes as I wrestled with guilt, and the feeling that I had wasted so much time already, clinging to a belief that told me over and over again:
"Someday, I'll be happy."
I rewound the podcast. And listened again.
The phrase they mentioned was the Arrival Fallacy.
(Just typing it makes my blood chill.)
What is the Arrival Fallacy? (brrrr...)
It's the belief that you will achieve happiness and fulfillment only after certain, future criteria have been met. You cannot be happy now. You will only be happy after this happens. Or when that happens.
Or when this and that happen!
Perhaps it's after you get the raise you wanted. Or after you finally buy a home.
You've decided that you will only be happy when you've arrived.
Are you like me?
Does your happiness lie just around the corner, or in some distant future? Does it always seem to be out of reach?
Perhaps you believe in the Arrival Fallacy too.
"How can I be happy now? I'm clearly not the person I want to be yet."
"I'm overweight." "I don't make enough money." "I haven't found love yet."
Oh, yeah. I know all about this kind of thinking.
"Someday, life will be better, and I can start fresh."
"Someday, I'll be happy."
I think that's why it's so easy to fall into the trap of thinking, "Someday".
It gives us an excuse, perfectly wrapped in a shiny package. "I'll wait until life is just a little bit better before I start doing that important thing I've wanted to do all my life." "I'll wait just a little bit longer before I start doing the things that make me happy."
I didn't even realize I had this mindset.
I thought I was just being hopeful.
Someday things'll get better. Someday I'll achieve the things I want to achieve.
That's what it became to me.
I've pushed so many of my dreams so far into "someday" that I've never had to worry about actually achieving them.
So I just stay right here. Where it's safe. Locked in thoughts of a happier future. Never having to put my neck out there. Never having to risk failure at achieving my goals.
... because someday it'll all be okay. One of these days, I'll find that elusive confidence I've been seeking. I'll give voice to the artist inside of me. One of these days, I'll create! I'll Do! I'll Be! Go me! Yeah!!
Sounds wonderful. Like heaven on earth.
(I hope it's a peaceful death for us. In our sleep, surrounded by family.)
But what if we end up with a lot of time to contemplate the things that might've been, could've been... weren't? What if we were able to see what needed to be done, but we hadn't done it?
Don't know about you, but that would be pretty crushing. Living in the shadow of goals unpursued.
That's the way I've been living. (Have you been living that way too?)
[insert long sigh of sad realization] [ha]
There are a few cures to this scary scenario.
You could try reading this (hysterical and vulgar).
Or try this (not hysterical or vulgar).
Or I could just cut to the chase and tell you to:
I don't care how crappy it is.
I don't care who'll laugh at you.
Take a first step toward a worthy goal.
It doesn't have to matter to anyone else but you.
But start doing it. Whatever it is.
Do it because arrival is a fallacy.
You're already here. You're on the planet. You're breathing air. You're reading these words.
START. SOMETHING. TODAY.
It could just make you happy.