… isn’t getting what you want all the time, it’s about loving what you have.
Asher Roth said that (yes, the college rapper).
There are a million definitions of happiness. They tend to blend in with those of satisfaction, pleasure and joy.
But I believe there’s an enormous difference between happiness and most other forms of positive human emotion:
Happiness doesn’t arise from the satisfaction of a desire, it arises from the lack of desire.
As James Clear put it in Atomic Habits:
“It arrives when you have no urge to feel differently. Happiness is the state you enter when you no longer want to change your state.”
That makes happiness something you cannot aim at directly. It can’t be a goal. It can only be a side product of your living your life such that you don’t want it to be any different.
As Viktor Frankl writes in Man’s Search for Meaning:
“Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.”
To side products,
This post is part of my idea series I sent out to my email list once a week. Sign up for it here.