3 Beliefs that Feel Right but Cause Harm

Mountain climber reaching the summit.

You're exhausted because you believe the myth of reaching goals.

#1. Reaching goals provides fulfillment.

You’re exhausted because you believe the myth of reaching goals.

The only thing achievement provides is the opportunity to look for the next goal. The process is endless until you give up and start living.

You always feel like you’re almost there. You always run to finish the next thing only to repeat the process over and over and over.

The only time you actually get there is when you die.

What is life about if it isn’t about goals? David Shapiro told me that life is about growing and giving. People who grow and give thrive. Everyone else grows weary.

#2. You know what makes you happy.

Daniel Gilbert writes that we’re lousy at predicting what makes us happy. (Stumbling on Happiness)

You don’t know what makes you happy because you’ve trivialized happiness.

The trivializing of happiness makes you unhappy.

The ancients used eudaimonia for happiness. It’s better translated flourish. People feel happiness is a day at an amusement park, but flourishing is more rigorous.

Martin Seligman says flourishing includes:

  1. Positive emotion. (Happy feelings is a part of the formula, but not the end.)
  2. Engagement.
  3. Relationships.
  4. Meaning.
  5. Achievement.
Giraffe reaching high leaves.

You always feel like you're almost there.

#3. Hard work is the answer.

Hard work is necessary, but good fortune often makes the difference. The longer I live, the more I see fortuitous events contribute to success.

Dr. Seuss had given up on his first children’s book. He was headed home to burn it when he bumped into an old college classmate on Madison Avenue. It was Mike McClintock’s first day working for Vanguard Press. Mike was the new editor of children’s books. Thirty minutes later Dr. Seuss shook hands with the president of the company. (Becoming Dr. Seuss)

Keep your head up and your eyes open. Welcome surprises.

What beliefs have you changed?