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Why reaching your goals won't make you happier

https://www.fastcompany.com/90318268/why-reaching-your-goals-wont-make-you-happier

fastcompany.com

Why reaching your goals won't make you happier
"I'll be happy when . . ." Fill in the blank with that one thing, that one goal that you think will finally make you happy. Land your dream job? Win that big client? Buy a house?

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Hedonic adaptation

Hedonic adaptation

We adapt fast to changes in our lives. This trait is beneficial to us when through hard times or adapting to new surroundings, but it also means that when we achieve something that should bring great happiness (getting a new car, a new job, a new relationship) we adapt too quickly. Those new things become familiar very quickly and that amazing burst of happiness is just that, a temporary dose.

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50-10-40% formula

50-10-40% formula

Only 10% of our happiness is determined by our circumstances, while 40% of our happiness is determined by our everyday thoughts and behavior and 50% of our happiness is genetically determined. So, if being happy once we achieve that major milestone only accounts for 10% of happiness, thinking you’ll be happy when you achieve that big goal just isn’t going to cut it. 

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Doses of happiness in everyday life

Doses of happiness in everyday life

Building your happiness muscle means finding happiness in your daily life:

  • Take pauses to enjoy the small pleasures in life;
  • Be generous;
  • Practice gratitude;
  • Get more exercise;

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The arrival fallacy

It's our false belief that once we make it, once we attain our goal or reach our destination, we will reach lasting happiness.

It’s the strong belief that when you accomplish something...

Pursuing goals isn’t a problem

It becomes dangerous when you focus on attaining them for your happiness in life. 

Goal attainment is, at most, equally, if not less important than the progress towards the goal. 

Achievement doesn’t equal happiness

Achieving a goal usually reveals another, even more, challenging goal. This may bring in much more work because the pursuit of goals never ends.

3 more ideas

Spend time with furry friends

Play fetch with Fido or sneak in a few cuddles with your kitten. 

Interacting with your pets can release oxytocin in the brain ― you know, the “warm and fuzzy” hormone ― resulting...

Count your blessings

There’s nothing like a little thankfulness to boost your mood. Research shows expressing gratitude can make you happier

Try writing down three things you’re thankful for at the end of each night.

Remind yourself how great you are

 Studies show self-acceptance is crucial to a happier life, but it’s a habit we barely practice.

Challenge Unhelpful Thoughts

Challenge Unhelpful Thoughts

Listen to your thoughts — but don’t necessarily believe them.

They're suggestions, possibilities. But they’re not gospel. You can’t control what thoughts pop up, but y...

Identifying Unhelpful Thoughts

  • Black and White Thinking: There are heaping piles of nuance to most things.
  • Unrealistic Expectations: Cynicism is bad, but a little skepticism is essential.
  • Selective Attention: If your brain is always looking for the negative, you’re gonna find it.
  • Disqualifying the Positive: Sometimes we go into problem-solving mode and focus only on what is broken.
  • Predicting the Future: “This will never work” or “They’re going to think I’m stupid.” You don’t know the future. So don’t act like it.
  • “Should” thoughts: It’s usually just an insistence that the world bends to your will and is a great way to amplify frustration.

Do More Stuff

Doing little positive things is better for happiness than occasionally bagging an elephant:

  • Enjoyable stuff
  • Achievement stuff: Defeat your goals in single combat and feel like a conquering hero
  • Meaningful stuff: Do volunteer work or just help someone
  • Physical stuff: Exercise. Not only keeps you alive, but it’s like miracle grow for your brain
  • Social stuff.