We naturally as humans set ourselves goals. Whether these our big life goals or small goals, like a week of going to bed on time.
Often we make goals and then tell ourselves that once we reach this goal everything will be better. We tell ourselves that once we get there, we'll then be happy.
Think now, do you have any goals in your life that once you achieve you will feel happy?
Most of us do.
These goals might be a career or financial-based, perhaps a relationship goal or for your health and fitness?
Goals are generally a good thing. They give us direction and a plan. They map out what we would like from life and how we plan on getting it.
I see people daily who have goals and people who have achieved their goals.
Those who have completed their life goals know something that the rest of us don't.
Completing your goals doesn't make you happy!
Yes, you read that right. Sure, completing a goal can give you a sense of achievement and that could at that moment feel like happiness. But in time those feelings of achievement may disappear and in turn, so do the feelings of happiness :(
So what gives people happiness? and can I stop setting myself goals?
In terms of feeling happier, there are different things you can do and all of them based around the same idea.
Stoic Philosophy says that for us to be happy we need to have acceptance. Acceptance of what we can and can't control.
The truth is we only have control over two things in life, our thoughts and our actions (behaviour). Everything else is out of our control and is impossible to predict, so it's best to keep the focus on your thoughts and actions.
As we now know this concept is a major part of modern psychology, with similarities to cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness.
The idea of acceptance is an old one, but still as true today as it was then.
It would be a false promise to tell you that you can be happy all the time, life is filled with ups and downs that can make us feel all sorts of different ways and they won't always be happy. This is natural and normal.
But I do believe we can be happier people by having acceptance of what we can't control and getting more command over our thoughts and behaviours.
So going back to goal setting, although it's a good thing todo, it won't be the source of your happiness. If you want to set a goal make it one you want to do for yourself and not others. Making it a daily goal that is open and will be a continues part of your life. For example healthy eating or exercise. Or maybe a goal to spend time each week with family or friends, then to enjoy and appreciate the time with them. The goal is up to you!
The main thing to remember is to put your energies and enjoyment into the process and not the results.
Because you never know when a global pandemic might come along and stop you completing your goals!
Happiness will come from the smaller things in life.
Make decisions for yourself and relish in those moments.
Make a conscious decision to be kind and compassionate to others.
Talk to people you don't know.
Smile at someone.
Have appreciation and gratitude for what you've got.
All of those thoughts or actions will make you a lot happier on a daily bases than just one moment of happiness from finally buying that new car you wanted.
I hope this interested you and you enjoyed the read.
If you have any suggestions for an article please message me anytime with your suggestions.