It is simple to think that true happiness and satisfaction can only be achieved by accomplishing major goals, but that is removed from the reality, based on Arthur C. Brooks, a social scientist and professor at Harvard University who teaches a free course about happiness.
“A whole lot of people think that when they learn their skills, once they’re set in life that all the things will likely be okay, but that is a fallacy that we call in my business, ‘The Arrival Fallacy,'” Brooks said through the CNBC Work Summit 2023 this month.
The premise of the arrival fallacy is that when you accomplish a certain thing, you will robotically be happier and more satisfied together with your life, Brooks said.
Some examples of the accomplishments that individuals think will get them the satisfaction they’re searching for, based on Brooks, include:
- Securing a high-paying job or financial stability
- Getting married
- Buying the home they’ve at all times wanted
- Losing a certain quantity of weight
No matter what that destination is for you, Brooks said it’s best to avoid the arrival fallacy and embrace change with a purpose to really be pleased.
“Human beings are wired for progress. Progress is what brings us an actual sense of satisfaction. Forward motion. Goals, moving towards them are what we actually need,” he said.
“Ultimately, the goal is not happiness because happiness is not a destination; it is a direction. The way in which that we get happier has somewhat to do with the things happening outside of us, but it surely has more to do with our inner lives.”
To feel more satisfaction in your life, Brooks suggests treating your happiness like an investment portfolio by prioritizing these 4 areas:
- Faith and life philosophy
- Community and friends
- Meaningful work
“None of this stuff could make up happiness all on their very own,” Brooks says during his course about happiness. “They complement one another and exist in harmony.”