Destination Addiction

February 28, 2019
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Happiness

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The month of Pisces is known by the kabbalists as the month of joy and happiness. It is a time of abundance, an opportunity to appreciate all of our blessings and truly enjoy everything we have. It also a time of attracting new blessings, of setting our sights on what it is we want to manifest and experience next and how we can share in even bigger ways. This year, we get a double dose of this Pisces energy as we welcome the second month of Pisces.

The kabbalistic calendar is based on the cycle of the moon, unlike the Gregorian calendar which follows the sun. Seven times in every 19-year cycle, we have a leap year in the kabbalistic calendar, and this is one of those years. Where the Gregorian calendar adds a day for leap years, we add a month before Pisces; we call it Pisces I and Pisces II. In essence, this is a very lucky year! Who wouldn’t want another whole month dedicated to happiness, joy, and fulfillment?

Enjoying our lives to the fullest and reveling in our blessings is truthfully something we can do every day no matter the month. I have written about the importance of taking responsibility for your own happiness; that your joy is cultivated by you and you alone. While this is true—our personal happiness is our job—I have noticed that the pendulum can swing a little too far in the other direction, which lands us in an experience that British psychologist Robert Holden calls “destination addiction.”

It is important to mention at the outset that this is not a clinical term and the definition is not something that could be categorized as an actual addiction. It’s more illustrative of a phenomenon that many of us in the modern world experience, which Dr. Holden describes as, “a belief that success is at the next destination.” Those that suffer from this are “addicted to the idea that the future is where success is, happiness is, and heaven is. Each passing moment is merely a ticket to get to the future.” Put simply; it is the belief that happiness is somewhere else.

If you think this could be you but aren’t sure, here is a list of “symptoms” that Dr. Holden outlines in his book Authentic Success: Essential Lessons and Practices from the World’s Leading Coaching Program on Success Intelligence:

  • Whatever you are doing, you are always thinking about what comes next.
  • You cannot afford to stop because you always have to be somewhere else.
  • You are always in a hurry even when you don’t need to be.
  • You always promise that next year you will be less busy.
  • Your dream home is always the next home you plan to buy.
  • You don’t like your job but it has good prospects for the future.
  • You never commit fully to anything in case something better comes along.
  • You hope the next big success will finally make you happy.
  • You always think you should be further ahead of where you are now.
  • You have so many forecasts, projections, and targets that you never enjoy your life.

Do any of those ring true? If so, you’re definitely not alone. The good news is, now that you know, you can get to the bottom of why and how you’ve fallen into destination addiction and get yourself back into the here and now, where true happiness lives.

When we’re feeling unhappy, or any emotion that we would describe as negative, it is easy to think that changing the circumstance, be it your job, health, home, relationship, financial situation, is the answer. That makes sense right? The lament “I’m so frustrated at this job!” obviously means that better days are available at a different job. But how often have we made that change and, to our surprise, found ourselves still feeling unhappy?

The point I’m making is that our happiness doesn’t arrive based on outer circumstances. The quick feelings of elation and excitement we feel when we get a new car, a new romantic partner, or even a new pair of shoes are fleeting. Not only that, we are bound to experience dissatisfaction for a myriad of reasons throughout our lives many of which are totally out of our control.

What we want to work towards is cultivating an inner joy and happiness that centers around gratitude for all that we have, appreciation for the people our lives, and acknowledgment of everything we have accomplished. The kabbalists teach, and I reiterate often, that the physical world that we see—our careers, possessions, homes, bodies, the room you’re looking at right now—account for just 1% of our overall human experience. It is the tip of the iceberg, a simple out-picturing of our inner world. The unseen world makes up the other 99%. This is our emotions, beliefs, thoughts, words, intuition, dreams, everything that we very much feel and experience but cannot see. That is the realm of spirit; the realm of the Creator. It is also from where our happiness arises.

When we are caught up in destination addiction, we are solely focused “out there.” We are no longer even living our lives; our attention is so far in the future and so focused on imaginary circumstances that we don’t see all of the beauty, abundance, and fulfillment that actually exists for us right now. It is a daydream and nothing more, and more likely than not; it is covering up something very real that wants our attention such as loneliness, unworthiness, or fear.

Running away from negativity never soothes or solves it. As Carl Jung famously said, “what you resist, persists.” If you find yourself focusing on an imaginary set of future circumstances, ask yourself why you want to escape. What’s happening in your body? What emotion are you feeling? You could even try journaling when this experience arises to help you get to the bottom of it. If you’re feeling lonely and are pining for a romantic relationship, ask yourself what fulfilling relationships you already have. How is the relationship you have with yourself? Whether it’s a close friend or family member, set up a coffee date and focus on truly enjoying their presence. If you’re feeling unworthiness, look at why. Ask yourself what you could do to boost your self-esteem. Taking yourself on a date, trying that new dance class you’ve been eyeing, or even getting a new haircut can remind you that you are not your negative thoughts.

We are always going to seek; it is a biological, psychological reality of being human. It is a built-in instinct that we have that helps us to move forward, to grow, and to transform. Change is, according to Kabbalah, the entire reason we came into this world. When we feel the tug for something more, it’s natural, but assuming the answer is anywhere outside of us is not. As we move through this month, appreciating what we have builds a sense of unshakable joy, one that we can carry with us as we strive for more, or even just different, things and experiences.

Our most fulfilled life is unfolding before our eyes and setting our sights on goals and envisioning our perfect life is a big part of creating our ideal life experience. But happiness is found in the process of creation, not in any destination. Find joy right now today and then in every single moment that follows.

 

THOUGHT INTO ACTION

Where do you experience Destination Addiction? What is it that calls you out of your present experience and how can you bring yourself back? What are some ways you can cultivate your own inner joy right now?

 


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Comments

  1. Avatar Fernán Ramírez : March 6, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    Mónica, muchísimas gracias por estas palabras llenas de energía e intuición, han sido una verdadera luz en mi camino espiritual.

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