How often have you said, I will be happy when I achieve such and such a goal? Or, Once this is over I’ll be happy. According to those sorts of statements one achieves a state of happiness through something.
Unhappiness factors around the goal
The problem is, the dedicated quest for happiness through accomplishment is so stressful and consuming that it sucks the current happiness we could be feeling if we weren’t so focused out of our awareness.
Yes, achievements feel great. They prove your abilities and increase your self-worth, but do they actually make you happier? You will most probably feel happy immediately after you achieve that goal. But how long will it last?
Everyone has a general set point for happiness. Meaning for the most part, no matter what fabulous new job you get or beautiful new house you move into, after a while you will re-set to your natural happiness level.
The mouse wheel of happiness
Trying to achieve happiness through doing or acquiring things is a race that will never finish. It’s as perpetual as a mouse on a wheel. The slight bump in happiness fades and we’re on to the next thing to get it back – feeling less happy in the process of achieving.
Be the happiness
No matter what you achieve, your new job, your new house, you are still essentially the same person. That’s why we always return to our set point for happiness. Your set point of happiness is always underneath whatever else you’re doing. That means we can choose to acknowledge it and be happy while we go about achieving our goals. While we are living in our current location.
Happiness is a question of noticing the details. The warmth of sunshine on your skin. The colour of the sky. The music playing in your vicinity. Happiness isn’t the goal. Happiness is the way.
We’ve talked a lot about the happiness set point today. Although everyone does return to their general happiness level there is a way to re-adjust that set point and it’s through helping other people. Help other people feel better and you end up feeling increased happiness yourself. Like the saying goes, The more you give, the more you get.