We spend a lot of time here at Happier sharing what science has taught us about learning to be happier, and of course we try to keep the emphasis on the positive stuff. That’s the goal, after all!
But this recent piece by Thai Nguyen about the 10 culprits potentially robbing you of happiness is fascinating—for anyone who struggles with just following the good advice out there, seeing the connection between common pitfalls and their overall impact may be particularly helpful. This is a tidy list of ways in which we often get it wrong (and why we do). It turns out that we’re not always very good at figuring out what’s best, and as a result a lot of us spend a lot of time “stuck.” Lucky for us, Nguyen is also there to tell us how to turn it around and be happier (phew).
Note that the very first item on the list is:
1. The Cart Before the Horse.
“I’ll be happy as soon as I ________________.”
That’s typically how we view happiness — on the other side of achievement. We put the cart before the horse and then attempt to drag them both along.
Hmmmmmm. I almost feel like I’ve heard that one before… somewhere…. (Everyone together, now: Stop saying “I’ll be happier when…” and start thinking “I am happier now because….”)
Go read the whole piece; I bet you’ll see yourself in at least a few of the items listed, and there’s easy pointers to turn around those decidedly-not-happier habits, too. The science is clear. We just have to figure out the best ways to implement it!