We all fall into this trap sometimes. "If only I had this thing, I'd have enough." "When this happens, we'll be happy." Motivation to work towards future rewards is a good thing, but pinning happiness on those future rewards is not.
Pictures: Charles Henry/Flickr
The folks at The Simple Dollar point out that people often get wrapped up in visualising the things they want to the point that it starts costing them time, money and the happiness they're after.
It also places far too much expectation on a single life change, something that virtually no change could possibly live up to. If you truly believe that one change can transform your life from steady unhappiness to steady happiness, then this change is going to disappoint you. That new computer isn't going to change your life. Neither does that romance that you imagine. These things won't transform your life.
Instead, they recommend looking at the things in your life that already make you feel good. When we're always looking to the next chapter, we tend to devalue those things. Just remember that happiness is an attitude. You can carry it with you no matter what you have.
"If Only I Had This Thing, I Would Be Happy" [The Simple Dollar]