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

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. 

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

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

https://medium.com/@alltopstartups/the-arrival-fallacy-a-psychologist-explains-why-reaching-your-goals-wont-make-you-happy-b2cd359b07

medium.com

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Key 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 great, you’ll finally be happy.

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.

“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.”

“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.”

Focus on the process

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.

“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.”

“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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Tal Ben-Shahar
Tal Ben-Shahar

"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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Understandably, pain, pleasure, and loneliness can make us unhappy, and pleasures can provide us with momentary happiness.

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It can be said that happiness is intended pleasure, and absence of pain, but if we are trying too hard to be happy, we cease to be so.

You Cannot Bottle Happiness

All of us, no matter what is our state of affairs, experience dissatisfaction, frustration and other unpleasant emotions. These emotions are as essential as one's feeling of euphoria when good things happen.

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