People believe that happiness is a destination because they are looking for something finite and concrete in their lives, such as money, cars, power, success, and family. They believe that once they get these things, all the pieces of the happiness puzzle will just fall into place and they will automatically become happy.
However, happiness is a journey, not a destination, because life is not finite. Even if we achieve some of our goals, new goals will always become available. So, while our well-being can increase because of the choices we make, ultimately, it all depends on the way we live our lives, regardless of how good or bad it becomes along the way.
As famous comedian Jim Carrey once said:
I hope everybody could get rich and famous, and do everything they ever dreamed of, so they would know that it’s not the answer.
Happiness is Not a Destination
Would you agree with the following statement:
The more you pursue happiness, the faster it runs from you?
Quite a paradox, wouldn’t you say? To solve this paradox, we need to understand that happiness is a journey not a destination. There is no one single finish line, but rather an endless number of checkpoints along the journey, which never quite ends.
In other words, the finish line doesn’t realistically exist, as we are not designed to be happy because we reach a certain point in life. Instead, we have to learn to enjoy the journey of life no matter how smooth or bumpy it becomes.
Even the rich, powerful, and successful people continue to have problems when they achieve what they want in life. But they too have to continue striving for more because life never truly reaches a finishing line. Life is unpredictable, and it can take unexpected turns, so the only realistic finish line is death. Everything else is just a journey, so let’s make the most out of life, no matter who we are, where we are from, and what our life circumstances may be.
Why Happiness is a Journey
Thus, we will always have problems, no matter who we are. A life without problems is unrealistic. However, this is not an excuse to be unhappy, as our problems are a part of our journey, our happiness, and our lives.
So when people become unhappy, it is not because they don’t have enough or because something is going wrong in their lives. Rather, they are just focusing on the wrong things, such as lack of whatever next item in an infinite list of desires to have. As such, they just most of us already have more than enough, we always will have some sort of problems, and we need to remind ourselves to be grateful for the things that we have, no matter how much or little that might be.
So when people become unhappy, it is not because they don’t have enough or because something is going wrong in their lives. Rather, they are just focusing on the wrong things, such as the lack of whatever is next on an infinite list of desires. Therefore, we must remember that most of us already have more than enough, we will always have some sort of problems, and we need to remind ourselves to be grateful for the things that we have, no matter how much or how little.
To do so, say: “I’m grateful for…” and remind yourself of everything you have, rather than what you are missing. For example, “I’m grateful for being young, healthy, having a roof over my head, having amazing friends, and having a supportive family.”
Happiness Has Many Destinations
Human beings are not designed to be passive. We always need to be doing something, meaning that anyone who tells you that happiness is found in relaxing, procrastinating, and being idle is only telling you half of the story.
Sure, we should continue building it up, by setting goals, and aiming to continuously improve our situation. Still happiness is not a destination, but a way of life, which we address on a day-by-day and goal-by-goal basis, making the most of what we can, hopefully learning that we can be happy regardless of who we are, where we are from, and what are our life circumstances.
And if things get bumpy, remember that this is also part of the process. We can still shape this process in any way we want. To do so, we may need some help, which Optimal Happiness is willing to provide for its readers. So, if you’ve read this far, know that you can book a free 30-minute call with one of our experts who can assist you in making this journey to happiness more enjoyable.