The arrival fallacy

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 great, you’ll finally be happy.

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The Arrival Fallacy: A Psychologist Explains Why Reaching Your Goals Won't Make You Happy

medium.com

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“Life is a process of replacing one anxiety and one desire with another. No goal spares us renewed goal seeking. The only stable element in our lives is craving: the only destination is the journey.”

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Take pleasure in the progression towards goal achievement. 

When you focus on the process and enjoy it, you take pleasure from the atmosphere of growth.

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“Attaining lasting happiness requires that we enjoy the journey on our way toward a destination we deem valuable. Happiness is not about making it to the peak of the mountain nor is it about climbing aimlessly around the mountain; happiness is the experience of climbing toward the peak.”

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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. 

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

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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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Why reaching your goals won't make you happier

fastcompany.com

It explains our tendency as human beings to chase happiness, only to return back to our original emotional baseline after getting what we want. 

We run on a hedonic treadmill, and get nowhere, despite exerting massive effort along the way.

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Want to Lead a Happy Life? Science Says to Focus on These 10 Things.

becomingminimalist.com

The Elusive Butterfly Called Happiness
  • Happiness is an enigma, an elusive butterfly. Different people experience this fleeting feeling in diverse ways.
  • The extrovert personality types have a stronger, more positive link towards happiness, as compared to the neurotics.
  • It is hard to pinpoint if the extrovert types are happier or the serene, placid types, who are content with little. 
  • Some people are happy with spending time alone and even self-actualization, which is considered low-intensity and 'boring' by the extroverts.

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Why ambition won't make you happy

bbc.com