The happiness of pursuit

We’ve heard it before that ‘life is a journey’, ‘it’s not the destination, it’s the journey’…it seems trite but actually it’s true.  I’ve been reading a book happiness and it’s scientifically proven!  Okay, so this thrill I get on working on a project is legit?  Yep! So here’s the deal.  When we’re in “goal pursuit” we’re actually happier than when we reach the goal.  Turns out people are more content when they have deadlines to meet, projects to work on, ideas to flesh out and anything else that will help you meet that goal.  This doesn’t mean every stressful time at work is going to bring happiness, but it does mean that when you’re working on whatever it is in your free time that brings you joy, don’t be in too big a hurry to get to the finish line.  Enjoy the ride a little more.  Studies show that once the goal is reached, the novelty wears off, the freshness inevitably goes stale….and we realize that getting there was way more fulfilling! So even though I’m not a goal-setter, I’m enjoying the activities I’m doing…writing, volunteering, working on a graduate class.  I can’t say I was ever in a rush to publish, get a job offer or an advanced degree but now that I know that more than half the fun is in getting there, I’m enjoying this a lot more!

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