Rules for happiness. Why waiting for the cavalry’s a bad idea.

Stop waiting for the cavalry… and you’ll be happier.

What do I mean?

I was talking with a woman in her work place; she wasn’t happy.

‘I’ve worked here for twenty years,’ she said, with feeling. ‘I can’t believe the way the company is treating me. I really can’t.’

She has what many of us have: the hope that her company will look after her, are looking out for her; and that in the end, they’ll send the cavalry.

I hear this expressed often, with frustration, by a great many: the sense that the organisation has not attended to their needs.

This doesn’t surprise. The longing to be looked after, to be saved from our circumstances, is a natural and deep-rooted human longing.

Why not bring that need to the work place?

And often our employers do look after us, in some manner; and maybe we have a good manager who is kind.


It’s just that we can’t expect this; and it doesn’t help to expect this.

Whether we’ve been there for a week or twenty-five years, in the end, an organisation exists for itself.

They don’t exist to look after us, a wage isn’t love, they’re probably not sending the cavalry…and strangely, this is OK.

When we stop waiting for the cavalry, we become stronger.

Sitting around waiting for someone else to save us not only makes us vulnerable to disappointment and negativity – ‘I blame them!’ …it also makes us weak.

Instead, we choose to plant our own garden, rather than waiting for others to bring us flowers.

We take ourselves seriously, rather than scanning some distant horizon for help.

And we discover that we really are strong, we really can survive, we really do have worth; and that life has given us marvellous resources to draw on.

We’re happier when we stop waiting for the cavalry…because we are our cavalry.