We are hurting ourselves. And we don’t realize it. We are just doing what we think will make us happy.
The problem is – our horizon is too short. We are too focused on the moment. In a culture of instant gratification, we can’t go a minute without giving in to our idle curiosities.
And I didn’t realize the danger this can bring. I always prioritized distraction over boredom. Or consumption that involved very little cognitive processing. Something mindless that I didn’t have to think about.
What was I thinking?
Of course the things that bring us lasting joy will involve a little hardship and a little struggle along the way.
The lasting joy comes from the feeling of succeeding on a project you struggled and labored over for 2 years. Not from completing level 45 of candy crush.
It can be easy to confuse the feeling.
One has the ability to gracefully follow us day to day, and the other is dependent on moment to moment stimuli around us.
We are inclined to choose the path of least resistance. That path often leads us to prioritizing the moment to moment happiness. We seek instant gratification over the labor of learning and claiming knowledge.
But the feeling of happiness is fleeting. The knowledge we claim along the way is everlasting and stays with us.
Take the path less traveled. Don’t take the easy way out. Focus on doing what’s challenging. Focus on doing what leads to results and benefits because of the laboring.
Happiness is based on circumstances – joy is an attitude that is cultivated.
Prioritize joy. It’s worth it in the long run.