Destination addiction. I am as guilty of it as most millennials. We dream of our next job, our next home, when we will get married and have children. It is okay to dream these things but when it comes in our way of living in the present moment and experiencing gratitude and contentment, that is when it isn’t healthy.
The term “destination addiction” resonated with me when I saw a quote on Twitter: Beware of destination addiction: the idea that happiness is in the next place or job. Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, you will never be where you are.
I shall tell you all a little story. Throughout my late teens and early twenties, I always dreamed of getting married to the love of my life. I was convinced that marriage would be the cure to my battle with mental health issues. I thought it would make me permanently happy. This was so ingrained in my head that, for a few years, I did not do anything proactively to otherwise keep myself content or feeling grateful. While I am happily married (yes my dream partly came true), my mental health issues have not gone away. I was so preoccupied by a certain event in my life, one I thought would resolve my issues, that I did not build a strong enough foundation for myself. However, there were times when I stopped fixating on the future and focused on my now. One of those times happened when I met my husband.
See that is what destination addiction does to you. It makes you live in the future and not the present; think about the “what if’s” and not the “what now’s”. It causes more damage than it does good. I am not saying that having dreams is a bad thing, not at all. We should use our aspirations as a means to strive towards improving ourselves and helping those around us. However, when you focus entirely on the future, so much that you stop caring about who and what is around you in the present, you put your relationships and mental health at stake.
What we need to do is focus on our present. We should not think tomorrow is guaranteed because frankly our end on this earth is written by Him. We should take one day at a time and set goals that work today but also help you in the future. We should also count our blessings and be grateful; remember there is someone out there wishing they had your life.