The Vacation Illusion - We believe the future will bring happiness
I have always been an anxious person by nature. Never fully relaxed just more or less anxious almost all of the time. It’s the kind of anxiety that keeps you from having a truly fulfilling life. The kind that keeps you stuck in the crappy job, stuck in the same routines, stuck in the mental confinement that just won’t let you be truly free.
I’ve always felt if I could pull myself out of the daily routine and have time to think, and work on myself, I could change my mental system and point myself in the right direction. I seem to always look forward to a time when I will be relaxed and can work on myself. A time when I can do this in the future, like while on vacation.
I picture lazy days with plenty of time to get in the right state of mind and have a mental clarity that isn’t normally present. In this future scene, I am centered with clear thoughts about life. It is as if time slowed down to let me think. I straighten out everything in my head and create an open path forward.
I convince myself this new perspective will happen. How could it not while on vacation with plenty of time to relax and think? And...I will make my new perspective a permanent mindset.
But that’s not the reoccurring reality. Once on vacation time keeps moving from one thing to the next. It does not slow down to let me think and nothing clears in my head. The much anticipated future scenario is now the present and the present perspective does not change. My mind is the same as it was at home. This is the reality of my plan.
Still, each year I envision the future vacation with this great mental turning point. I look forward to it as if I don’t know that it fails to happen each time. Even after all of the failed attempts I still feel like I could get to that place of mental freedom if given more time. I keep thinking I’ll be able to get there on my next vacation. The past trials tell me that’s the illusion, but my mind keeps saying it’s up to me. I just needed to try harder and will do it next time...
This is the vacation illusion.
Can one push through their own mental walls by relaxing, getting the right perspective, and refusing to let it go?
I think so...