Olaoluwa Ajibade
2 min readJan 25, 2021


“It is quite impossible to unite happiness with a yearning for what we don’t have. Happiness has all that it wants, and resembling the well-fed, there shouldn’t be hunger or thirst.” ~EPICTETUS,

I’ll be happy when I graduate, we tell ourselves. I’ll be happy when I get this promotion, when this diet pays off, when I have the money that my parents never had. Conditional happiness is what psychologists call this kind of thinking. Like the horizon, you can walk for miles and miles and never reach it. You won’t even get any closer.

Eagerly anticipating some future event, passionately imagining something you desire, looking forward to some happy scenario — as pleasurable as these activities might seem, they ruin your chance at happiness here and now. Locate that yearning for more, better, someday and see it for what it is: the enemy of your contentment.

Choose it or your happiness. As Epictetus says, the two are not compatible.

Mostly unhappiness comes from a fundamental resistance to the current moment, your life and everything in it, as it is, right now.

The gap between what you think will make you happy and where you are, that you THINK isn’t making you happy, is the source of the unhappiness problem.

Even in the midst of sadness, anger or suffering, happiness can be accessed.

It’s the resistance to the circumstances happening right now. For instance, when my mother was dying I was very sad and scared.

However I found moments of happiness and joy by getting present, doing what needed to be done, realizing as hard as it was, that her passing was a unique time and that I better be present for it, as those moments will never come back again.

There’s almost nothing better than practices like alpha meditation and training to harness the power of the mind for learning how to get into the present.

Conditional happiness is when you need to satisfy a condition in order to be happy. “I’ll be happy when” or “I can be happy IF.” As opposed to unconditional happiness which means that you are happy no matter what external events are happening in your life.

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Olaoluwa Ajibade

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