Guest Post- Are you Sabotaging your Happiness with “If Only?”

by Grace Robinson

Do you ever find yourself saying to yourself, “I would be happy if only….?”  It might be something like, “I would be happy if only I made more money” or “I would be happy if only I was in a relationship.”   Are you sitting back waiting for these things to magically happen or are you proactively trying to improve your situation?

I know a young man that seemed to be in an impossible situation.  Mark was laid off from his job and had to move back in with his mother.  A week later, the engine gave out in his car.  There he was, living in his mother’s basement drawing unemployment.  His mom’s house was in the ‘burbs where there was no public transportation.  Mark didn’t have the money to get his car fixed and he couldn’t find a job without a car.  He felt like such a loser and didn’t know where to turn.  One morning, a few weeks later, Mark borrowed his mother’s car and drove into the city.  Before the day was out, he had found a job and an apartment in an area with public transportation.  It wasn’t the best job in the world, but it was a start.   Within a few days, he moved into his new apartment and the next morning, he walked to his new job.  He still wants to find a better job, but he feels so much better about himself because he has his independence back.

This young man could have just continued to draw unemployment and live in his mother’s basement.  He could have said “I would be happy if only I had a job.”  Instead of waiting for something to happen, he went out and made something happen.  He figured out what he needed to do to find his happiness.

I have a single friend who desperately wanted to get married.  She would often say, “I would be so happy if only I were married.”  Amy had handed over her ability for happiness to a situation over which she had no control.  This wish to be married dominated her thoughts and her life.  Every decision she made was wrapped around whether or not it might lead her to a relationship.  She didn’t enjoy herself when she went out with her friends because of the disappointment she felt when she did not meet someone.

After several years of being desperately unhappy, Amy finally realized that she had to do something make herself happy.  This was a turning point for her.  She sat down one day and thought about her interests.  She made a list of the activities that she used to enjoy.  She loves animals, so she started volunteering for an animal rescue group.  She was lucky enough to have a home where she could foster some animals, so that’s exactly what she did.  She made lots of new friends and found so much happiness in pursuing her passion.  She continues to date, but she isn’t so devastated when the relationship doesn’t work out.   She went out and found her happiness.

Lots of people face tremendous challenges every day:  poor health, poor finances, disabilities, unemployment and loneliness.  It can be easy to fall into that trap of giving up and spending time wishing for happiness.  The truth is that each and every one of us holds the key to our happiness in our own hand.

I recently saw a segment on the news about a man who was born with no arms and no legs.  During his childhood and young adult years, he felt sorry for himself and believed that he would never be able to achieve any of his dreams.  At some point, he realized that he held the key to his happiness and he began chasing his dreams.  He is now married and is an inspirational speaker.  The life he lives is no different from anyone else’s, with the possible exception that he is happier than most people I know.

The first step to achieving happiness is the belief that it can be achieved.  The second step to achieving happiness is the belief that YOU have the power to make yourself happy.


Author Bio:  Grace Robinson writes about dating and relationships on the blog Late Night Calls (  In her blog, she shares the stories and lessons that she has heard on those late night calls from her friends.  It’s the call we all make to a best friend after a date, a break up or that last argument with someone you love.

Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at:
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8 thoughts on “Guest Post- Are you Sabotaging your Happiness with “If Only?”

  1. Hi Grace {and Wendy},
    You make such a great point. It goes back to the two little mice that were in the cream. One sank and the other made butter to get out. This is such an inspiring post. We all need to be reminded every once in a while that we are capable of creating our lives’ direction. God helps those who help themselves, you know.


  2. Very nice post. I agree with everthing you said. While reading I kept thinking It reminded me of the saying, “Be the change you wish to see.” It all starts with us paying attention, being self-aware, and then being proactive about the change we want in our lives. We truely can make a difference in our own lives and in the lives of those around us..

  3. It’s true — see a lot of people wishing their lives away. Chances are if they got what they were wishing for they still wouldn’t be happy. They won’t be able to see it until their ready.

    I’ve been there and done that but over time I’ve learned to find things to make me happy. Like Susan says, “It’s a choice.”

  4. Great observation. We should never use the term if, but rather, when. If, tends to dictate negative actions. It does not allow you to forge ahead, as it tells you to wait for that moment. When, let’s you take charge of your life. It lets you decide your destiny, when used in a positive way. Good read! Blessings.

    your destiny. HGood read! Blessings.

  5. This is so true! After my husbands death, I NEEDED to take responsibility for my future that no longer included “the love of my life”. It’s been extremely difficult at times, especially in the evenings when things are quieted down and the kids are in bed. I miss him, but I must move on and as Susan said…I must be “proactive” in my life, not just for me, but my children as well. Who knows what amazing joys and possibilities lie just outside my door!

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