In Be Happier, Follow Your Dreams, For Dream Chasers

I envy today’s children if not for any other reason than the invention of DVD players for cars. Don’t you remember when you were little, all those painful car trips to see the cousins? Sun in your eyes after traveling for ages? Dad always said he was going to get some car side window shades for us to shield our eyes… he kept forgetting! What made it even worse was whenever we asked, “Are we there yet?” my dad always replied, “We’ll never be there, we’ll always be here.” That response drove us C-R-A-Z-Y, which, come to think of it, was probably his plan so we would just stop asking. Years later though, I can’t help but reflect on the truth in that mantra and how it relates to following your dreams.

Studies show that working towards your dream is often more rewarding than actually achieving it. Believe it or not, reaching your dreams can sometimes result in feeling let down. Bizarre as it sounds, it’s all part of “the arrival fallacy” or the belief that you’ll be happy once you arrive at a certain destination, as coined by popular Harvard lecturer Tal Ben-Shahar.

So why is arriving there rarely as wonderful as you expect? Essentially it’s because of your own expectations. Think about it, by the time you actually reach your dream you’re already expecting it, so the joyous emotions you’re expecting to feel have already been incorporated into your current happiness. On top of that, the way goals typically work is that once one is reached we already have our sights set on the next one. It’s like the car trip, you’re so excited to just get there that by the time you finally arrive your excitement has dwindled and you’re focused on the next thing…hitting the bathroom and finding a snack.

So what’s the point of all this (other than purchasing a DVD player for your car and riding in peace)? No matter what your dream is or where you are along the path, enjoy every moment of your journey because you’ll never be there, you’ll always be here.

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  • Scott Neilson

    hahaha!!! Fabulous! I love it.

  • Suzanne

    yes because it may take a long time to achieve your dream and you don’t want to look back at all the time that’s passed as wasted…..although I’m betting fulfilled dreams feel pretty awesome too.

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