happiness

worst lie

The Worst Lie We Tell Ourselves and How To Stop It Now!

What is the worst lie you have ever told someone else?

I am willing to bet you have told yourself a worse lie than what you have ever told someone else.  When you see how telling this worst lie ever has impacted your life, you will know exactly how you can stop telling it.  The worst lie you have ever told in your whole life is related to your happiness.  You lie to yourself that you will be happy when something happens and you lie to yourself by saying you are not happy now because of something else.  I say this is the worst lie because it is so obviously true and because it clearly has some basis in reality.  The truth is you are responsible for your happiness right now and no matter what happens in the future, your happiness now will be a lot like your happiness always was.

How do I know?

I think I know because I have experienced this a ton in my own life and seen everyone else experiencing it too.  At the same time, I hardly ever hear anyone describing it in a way that is easy to understand.  I see a ton of “how to be happy” and “why you are not happy” but rarely any of both combined in a simple format that anyone can understand without reference to being of a particular class, gender, origin, or other subtype of human.  I also know because I have told my share of lies mostly to myself.  The worst lie I have ever told anyone was telling myself I would be “happy when” something happened.  It was the worst because I always believed it and I always was willing to sacrifice happy now for more happy later.  Let’s see how this worst lie of being “happy when” can be the worst lie most of us ever tell ourselves.  I will start with the biggest lies most of us tell ourselves and then share a small fraction of all the worst lies I have told myself.  After sharing these lies, I will share what I think we can all do about it.

30 ways you probably phrase the worst lie to yourself now!

  1. I will be happy when I retire.
  2. I will be happy when I get laid.
  3. I will be happy when I am off work.
  4. I will be happy when I get drunk.
  5. I will be happy when I get into college.
  6. I will be happy when I graduate college.
  7. I will be happy when I am not single.
  8. I will be happy when I get married.
  9. I will be happy when I get divorced.
  10. I will be happy when I have kids.
  11. I will be happy when my kids move out.
  12. I will be happy when I start going to church.
  13. I will be happy when people start respecting me.
  14. I will be happy when I get paid more.
  15. I will be happy when I win the lottery.
  16. I am not happy because I am single.
  17. I am not happy because I am a virgin.
  18. I am not happy because I am divorced.
  19. I am not happy because my job sucks.
  20. I am not happy because I am sober.
  21. I am not happy because my parents are jerks.
  22. I am not happy because school sucks.
  23. I am not happy because the girl/guy I like doesn’t like me back.
  24. I am not happy because I am still working.
  25. I am not happy because I have kids.
  26. I am not happy because I have kids that are far away.
  27. I am not happy because my wife/husband is not happy.
  28. I am not happy because I don’t go to church.
  29. I am not happy because I haven’t won the lottery.
  30. I am not happy because I haven’t got into college.

How did I make the worst lie I told to myself fit any situation throughout my life?

  • I hope you get a laugh out of this because these are the actual lies I told myself in the order I can best remember them since I was 6 years old.
  1. I will be happy when it is Christmas.
  2. I will be happy when it is my birthday.
  3. I will be happy when I get a Super Nintendo.
  4. I will be happy when it is summer vacation.
  5. I will be happy when one of the girls I like in seventh grade likes me back.
  6. I will be happy when my brother does what I tell him.
  7. I will be happy when I have a girlfriend.
  8. I will be happy when I get laid.
  9. I will be happy when Mom and Dad stop fighting.
  10. I will be happy when Mom gets a promotion.
  11. I am not happy because middle school was better.
  12. I am not happy because I can’t get a girl to go out with me.
  13. I am not happy because other people are getting laid.
  14. I will be happy when I get into college.
  15. I will be happy when I get a better girlfriend.
  16. I am not happy because my girlfriend broke up with me.
  17. I am not happy because I could have got into a better college.
  18. I will be happy when I have more friends.
  19. I will be happy when I start drinking.
  20. I will be happy when I get better grades.
  21. I am not happy because I have to go to 8 am classes.
  22. I am not happy because I don’t have enough friends.
  23. I am not happy because I don’t like my classes.
  24. I am not happy because I am broke.
  25. I will be happy when I get a better job.
  26. I will be happy when I get laid by a girl that isn’t fat.
  27. I will be happy when I can drink more and not puke.
  28. I will be happy when I win a poker tournament.
  29. I will be happy when I make more money per hour.
  30. I am not happy because I have to work too much.
  31. I am not happy because I can’t hang out with my friends enough.
  32. I am not happy because I didn’t win another poker tournament.
  33. I will be happy when I am 21.
  34. I will be happy when I have this girl for my girlfriend.
  35. I am not happy because my girlfriend isn’t all I thought she would be.
  36. I am not happy because I drink too much.
  37. I am not happy because companies won’t offer me a good job.
  38. I am not happy because none of my friends would live with  me.
  39. I am not happy because my roommates suck.
  40. I am not happy because this office job sucks.
  41. I will be happy when I am a police officer.
  42. I will be happy when I get out of this office job.
  43. I will be happy when I am sober.
  44. I will be happy when I stop gambling.
  45. I am not happy because I am sober.
  46. I am not happy because I am a corrections officer.
  47. I will be happy when I get through the police academy.
  48. I will be happy when I can get drunk and play Rise of Nations.
  49. I am not happy because my girlfriend cheated on me and dumped me.
  50. I am not happy because I am sober again.
  51. I am not happy because I am broke.
  52. I will be happy when I make more money.
  53. I will be happy when I work at a better police department.
  54. I will be happy when I find another girlfriend.
  55. I will be happy when I get my new apartment.
  56. I will be happy when my friends all come over to party.
  57. I will be happy when I am done with training.
  58. I will be happy when I have a new rifle.
  59. I will be happy when I am better at Call of Duty World at War.
  60. I will be happy when I hook up with this really hot girl I met at work.
  61. I am not happy after hooking up with the really hot girl at work.
  62. I am not happy because my new police department sucks.
  63. I am not happy because I work too often.
  64. I am not happy because my Dad’s health is fading.
  65. I am not happy because I am single.
  66. I am not happy because I drink too much again.
  67. I am not happy because I spent over $1,000 at the strip club last night.
  68. I am not happy because I spent over $1,000 at the strip club last night again.
  69. I am not happy because I threw up just five feet in front of my bathroom, passed out in it, woke up the next morning with a headache, and think I may have pissed on the wall right near where I puked.
  70. I am not happy because I lost my job.
  71. I am not happy because I have to move home with my parents.
  72. I am not happy because I live with my parents.
  73. I will be happy when I move out on my own.
  74. I will be happy when I have another girlfriend.
  75. I will be happy when I go to Vegas for the first time.
  76. I will be happy when I go to Vegas for the second time.
  77. I will be happy when I look more sexy.
  78. I will be happy when I get a new computer.
  79. I will be happy when I get into grad school.
  80. I will be happy when I move into my apartment near grad school.
  81. I will be happy when I dump my girlfriend.
  82. I will be happy when I get a new girlfriend.
  83. I will be happy when I get to see my girlfriend more often.
  84. I will be happy when I can go to Sea World.
  85. I will be happy when the next Call of Duty Black Ops zombie map pack is released.
  86. I will be happy when I move in with my girlfriend.
  87. I will be happy when I can drink responsibly.
  88. I am not happy because I lost several hundred dollars betting on a Call of Duty Black Ops game last night.
  89. I am not happy because I promised my girlfriend I would not drink.
  90. I am not happy because I play too many video games.
  91. I am not happy because grad school sucks.
  92. I will be happy when I start my own company.
  93. I will be happy when I have a successful company.
  94. I will be happy when I get married.
  95. I will be happy when I graduate with my masters degree.
  96. I will be happy when I start drinking again.
  97. I will be happy when I start playing video games again.
  98. I will be happy when I drop out of my PHD program.
  99. I will be happy when my company has more clients.
  100. I will be happy when I have my own office.
  101. I will be happy when people respect me online.
  102. I will be happy when I am on my honeymoon.
  103. I will be happy when I am drinking and playing video games after my honeymoon.
  104. I will be happy when my friend has his bachelor party.
  105. I will be happy when I have a bigger office.
  106. I will be happy when the last Call of Duty Black Ops II zombie map pack comes out.
  107. I will be happy when I have a world record on the last Call of Duty Black Ops II zombie level origins.
  108. I will be happy when I can not feel bad about drinking at [8:30] in the morning.
  109. I will be happy when I can drink all day and my wife doesn’t give me shit about it.
  110. I am not happy because I drank all day.
  111. I am not happy because I drank all day again.
  112. I am not happy because I lost over $1,000 on the first night of my third trip to Vegas.
  113. I am not happy because I don’t have any money to gamble with on the second day of my trip to Vegas.
  114. I will be happy when I withdraw another $1,000 to gamble with.
  115. I am not happy because I now only have $100 left.
  116. I will be happy when I can win this $100 back up to $3,000 and take a limo by myself to Ceaser’s Place to gamble in the Texas Hold’em tournament.
  117. I will be happy when this stripper stops trying to pick me up after I told her I have a wife and to leave me alone.
  118. I will be happy when I can stop gambling tonight and take my winnings home.
  119. I am not happy because this hangover is going to kill me and I am trapped on this damn plane for four hours from Vegas to Atlanta.
  120. I am not happy because I spent over $2,000 on my Vegas trip between gambling, eating, and flying.
  121. I will be happy when I can stay sober.
  122. I am not happy because I am trying to stay sober and it sucks.
  123. I will be happy when I am a better husband.
  124. I am not happy because I am a crappy husband.
  125. I will be happy when my company makes more money.
  126. I am not happy because I am wasting $900 per month on this stupid corner office.
  127. I will be happy when I really quit drinking.

By telling myself the worst lie ever that I would be happy or I was not happy because of something, I always took no responsibility for my own happiness.  My life was a vicious cycle of wanting something new, getting it, not being happy as happy as I thought I would be, blaming that unhappiness on something else, and then finding something new to plan to be happy about in the future.

I finally broke the cycle by admitting to myself I am happy now and my happiness will always depend only on me.

You can see that I often got the things I thought would make me happy and surprisingly (or maybe not) always had new new lies to replace my old ones.  Often what I had thought would make me happy actually led to the very next lie that I was not happy because of it.  My favorite incarnation of this personally was in thinking I would be happy with a girlfriend and then blaming my unhappiness on my girlfriend when I got one.  The truth is that these lies I told were the only obstacle between me and being happy.  I told these lies because that is what I thought everyone did.  I told these lies because I thought I was never enough.  I thought I always had to have something else to be complete.  Whenever I got that something else, I quickly made up a new lie to replace the old one.  Rarely did I ever feel the happiness each lie promised for more than a few minutes to a few days.  Does this sound like you?

What can we all do about putting off our happiness and blaming our unhappiness on the world?

If we each take responsibility for our own lives and admit that how happy we are now is only up to us, I think we all can be a little bit happier.  Whether you are Casey Anthony or Bill Gates, how happy you are now is completely up to you.

How do you take responsibility and stop telling the worst lie?  You live in each moment.

You get the most you can out of every single moment and accept that how you feel is completely up to you in the moment.  You picture the happiness felt at your birth, the sadness that fills the room during your memorial, and you understand that your entire life is up to you between those two moments.  You have no control over what anyone else does or what the world gives you.  All you can do is control how you react.  All you can do is give what you want to get.  I am writing this post with that in mind.  I am happy today because I choose to be.  I give you this because I hope it helps you.  I do these things because they are what I choose to do when I am happy.  In being happy and choosing to do good things, I attract more good things and more happy to my life.  I know there is a lot of suffering in my future and I hope there is a lot of happiness too.  I know that all I can do is to do my best each moment to be a good person.  By doing that, I am happy that I am giving it my all.  I know that I am going to screw up often and sometimes my failures both make me happy and lead to my success.  I don’t need anything to make me happy and if everything I have is taken away from me, I still have the choice of how I feel about it.  If I do good work and lose everything I have worked for, at least I can be happy I tried and maybe I passed on what I learned to you today.

The worst lie we tell is that our happiness now depends on something else.

You can stop telling this lie by knowing the truth.

The truth is that your happiness depends only on you.

You can only experience the feeling of being happy right now.