….when it comes to goal pursuit, it really is the journey that counts, not the destination. Set for yourself any goal you want. Most of the pleasure will be had along the way, with every step that takes you closer… we can call this ‘the progress principle’: Pleasure comes more from making progress toward goals than from achieving them.
The condition that is usually said to trump all others in importance is the strength and number of a person’s relationships. Good relationships make people happy, and happy people enjoy more and better relationships than unhappy people … conflicts in relationships — having an annoying office mate or room-mate, or having chronic conflict with your spouse — is one of the surest ways to reduce your happiness.
(Aristotle) was saying that a good life is one where you develop your strengths, realize your potential, and become what it is in your nature to become.
Here’s my favorite idea: Work on your strengths, not your weaknesses. How many of your New Year’s resolutions have been about fixing a flaw? And how many of those resolutions have you made several years in a row? It’s difficult to change any aspect of your personality by sheer force of will, and if it is a weakness you choose to work on, you probably won’t enjoy the process. If you don’t find pleasure or reinforcement along the way, then — unless you have the willpower of Ben Franklin — you’ll soon give up.
But you don’t really have to be good at everything. Life offers so many chances to use one tool instead of another, and often you can use a strength to get around a weakness.
If you can engage your strengths, you’ll find more gratification in work; if you find gratification, you’ll shift into a more positive, approach-oriented mindset; and in such a mindset it will be easier for you to see the bigger picture — the contribution you are making to a larger enterprise — within which your job might turn into a calling.
Each of us thinks we see the world directly, as it really is. We further believe that the facts as we see them are there for all to see, therefore others should agree with us. If they don’t agree, it follows either that they have not yet been exposed to the relevant facts or else that they are blinded by their interests and ideologies.