Why happiness is a fallacy

Posted in Contentment

We all love to be happy. I wrote an entire blog for more than six years about happiness. But I stopped because I realised happiness is a fallacy – it’s a nebulous, imperfect, uncontainable force that is almost impossible to replicate in any meaningful way.

We can all be content – it’s a state of mind. It’s about accepting what we have, being grateful for all the positive things in our life, all that we have, and not being ungrateful for that which we don’t.

“Most people lie to themselves because they’re disappointed in what they’re not rather than being happy with what they are.” Gary Veynerchuk

Happiness is something we can’t force upon ourselves. We can try, but trying to be happy is like trying to be a fan of Marmite: if you’re not now, you can’t force it upon yourself. Trying to be content, on the other hand, is easily achievable.

Chasing happiness will lead to a lifetime of dissatisfaction because we can never truly achieve a state on constant happiness.

When we reach one goal that we think will make us happy – leaving a job we hate, paying off our debts, getting married, getting divorced – there will be other obstacles, other barriers. We’ll be happy, sure, but happiness is unsustainable as a way of being. There will always be something that we are not.

Learning to be content, on the other hand, allows us to see the world for what it is, embrace the happiness when it comes, but to see the struggles we face as similarly fleeting and inconsequential as the rest.

Contentment trumps happiness every time in my book.

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