Stop making happiness a moral issue : Why achieving your goals wont make you happy.
The ideas in this blog are from “Psycho-cybernetics” by Maxwell Maltz.
Stop making happiness a moral issue.
Happiness is not earned or deserved, nor is it the reward of virtue. If you believe in the pursuit of happiness to be selfish, that belief will lead you to equate happiness to a reward that is earned only by being unselfish. By that logic, the more miserable you make yourself, the happier you’re supposed to be.
Humans thrive off of being unselfish. It allows us to focus on someone else and for a brief period, forget about our problems, fears, etc. Naturally, humans feed off of being able to help — the thought of being “competent enough” to help is enough. Perhaps it could be a positive feedback loop that boosts self-efficacy. The more you help, the more capable you perceive yourself to be, thus decreasing self-doubt and boosting confidence.
As with anything, this taken to its extreme can have its consequences. Before you know it, you have a hero complex that uses “unselfishness” as an escape from his/her issues. Avoidance at its best. The only way to prevent the need to flee your life is to deal with problems head-on by looking at the root causes, habits, and rebuilding the loop to get you to a healthier place.
To recap: “Happiness is not a moral issue, any more than the circulation of blood is a moral issue.”
You’re not selfish for pursuing happiness, and you don’t have to “deserve” it either.
The argument that “The pursuit of happiness is selfish” is irrational. I have never met anyone that has enjoyed spending time around an unhappy person.
If you feel that you have to “deserve” happiness — The ideology follows that you will think unfavourable thoughts about your worthiness. Continually waiting for an external event or person to make you feel worthy of being happy is more likely to lead to codependency and attachment. Let me tell you — that is not and won’t be a long term fix. It’s what I like to call a “duct tape solution.”
Listen, if you’re going to be miserable, don’t be a coward, endure the miserableness you’re currently going through and use it to transform. Don’t cowardly opt-out for temporary fixes only to end up where you initially were in a couple months. EMBRACE THE SUCK and make the changes to ensure you don’t end up there again.
“We are never living, but only hoping to live. Looking forward always to being happy, it is inevitable that we never are so.” — Blaise Pascal.
We tell ourselves, “I’m not happy now, but when I get that job, partner (insert whatever you’re waiting for), I’ll be happy.” That is a fallacy because it’s based on fiction.
- I mean, you had the audacity to live as if you get to choose when to die.
- Your tomorrow is not promised, and you’ll be a lot happier living at daily increments.
- You can prepare for the future, plan for it, but there is no need to react to the future or the past — it’s much like reacting to fiction because the events you’re anxious or excited about haven’t taken place or have already passed.
Why achieving your goals won’t make you happy.
Thanks to hedonic adaptation, your happiness regarding reaching a goal will be short-lived as humans are naturally built to adapt quickly to changes in the environment and etc., you will soon adapt to that new car, house or job and thus you’ll be chasing goals one after the next all your life. While that is great as you’ll be progressing and perhaps increasing your quality of life, no matter how many goals you reach, you will not magically become permanently happy.
It’s all internal and starts with you.