The Shittiest Strategy for Happiness

You set a goal. You get behind it like Kevin Spacey tackling a juicy role. And you try to make things happen.

All good, except for the all the happiness you invest in reaching that goal.

I’ll be happier when I lose that weight.
My life will be so much better when I switch careers.
All I need is a great relationship and life will be amazing.
Sort my finances out and I’ll be set.
Work hard for the next year and everything will be fucking awesome.

This is why you make you make goals—to control an outcome that you hope will make you tangibly happier. But here’s the thing.

Glue a dove to a tree and it won’t fly so well.

Tie your happiness to an outcome and the same thing happens.

Things go wrong. Circumstances change. Shit happens.

So if your strategy for happiness depends on bending circumstances to your will, then I’m sorry, but that just ain’t gonna fly.

Pursue a goal or an outcome if you fancy it, but stop fooling yourself that you’ll be happier as a result.

Never, ever make your happiness, success or value dependent on reaching a point in the distance or making everything align at some mythical point in the future.

Happiness is a choice, not an outcome

Now, with that said, let me bring this into sharp, scary territory for you with one simple question:

If “being happy” is a choice I can make right now, then why aren’t I happy all the time?

I’ll answer this next week, but would love to know your thoughts in the meantime.

What do you think? Why aren’t you happy all the time?

  • I don’t generally comment, but I always like what I read. I’ve been following Steve’s Code, more on than off, for about ten years and this ‘stuff’ on happiness is the best yet! It is a choice to be happy and to put a positive twist on life where ever we can. There’s usually a reason that even the crappy stuff happens that we can’t always see in the moment, but there’s a good chance that reason will present itself down the road. What degree of happiness will I choose to live in today? Life is a blessing, I will try to keep that in mind in all of my affairs!

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