A reality check on happiness


If you’re a goal setter like me, you have a host of personal and professional objectives you’re striving to meet. Have you ever noticed, though, that the emotional high you get when you reach the finish line doesn’t last long? Yes, it feels great to finish what you’ve started…and you may take a few minutes to bask in glory of your accomplishment. But all too quickly you stop reveling and start mapping the next goal.

I always assumed that that honeymoon feeling (the emotional high of success) was my propellant, what pushed me out of my comfort zone and towards fulfilling my goal. After watching Shawn Achor’s TED talk The happy secret to better work, I realized that the optimism and joy of the journey–not the fleeting euphoria of the finish line–spurs me forward.

Happiness is not an aspirational state. And counter to popular thought, it’s not wholly dependent on external forces. As with many things, happiness is in the eyes (and the hands) of the beholder. Check out Shawn Achor’s video to see what I mean.

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