Eric Bishop's Webpage

Seeking Happiness

December 22 2023

Often, we convince ourselves into believing that an object, a goal, a connection, etc. is going to complete us and make us a whole, fulfilled person, but these rewards are often fleeting and you’re subsequently left wanting for more. Not only are increases in your social and material well-being only temporarily fulfilling, but you may also find that when you obtain something you wanted so desperately, you wind up clinging to it, and your clinging creates anxiety and a new set of problems. Look no further than the multi-millionaires and celebrities out there who still struggle to find happiness.

I’m at the point in my own life where essentially everything I set out to do since I became self-motivated at 17 has come to fruition or is very close to doing so. Despite some failures too, my circumstances are markedly better than they were in past years. Now that I’ve “made it”, I realize that life does not suddenly get easier and there will always be something to desire in the future.

It is good to work diligently towards a goal, but simultaneously try to recognize that once you achieve something, you’re not going to magically be happy. Real happiness comes from appreciating all of the things you already have in your life: even just the ability to work towards a goal is a massive blessing. Material possessions, money, and other things are not inherently bad, we all want to improve our circumstances, but just ask yourself, “Is my life genuinely going to be better when I obtain x, y, and z? Will things uncomplicate themselves? Will my mind call it a day and be at peace?” More often than not, I bet you’ll find truer happiness in appreciating the journey; being grateful for the present moment while still trying to achieve something in the future. Happiness is only a habitual practice.