We spend most of our lives thinking things will get better in the future, once I achieve this or that. We defer happiness in the now on a hope. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have dreams or goals, but you can’t defer happiness for something in the future. No one is guaranteed a future, and that thing you want will just be another milestone in your goal driven existence.
As human beings we are never really satisfied, which is why it’s so crazy to think happiness can exist anywhere, but the present moment. Have you noticed that the momentary happiness for that new job, car, house, or whatever you want wears off pretty quickly, then it’s on to the next stupid goal. For Christ sake, this is just some endless carrot and stick game and you’re the donkey.
Stop fixating on some future thing or version of yourself you want to be. Is your current life, yes the one you are living right now so miserable?
Epictetus is saying if you can be happy now, you are not wanting anything else. Dammit if you can’t find something to be grateful for, then look a little harder. Stop wanting all that shit, it won’t make you happy anyway.