Psychology and the Good Life is one of the most popular courses at Yale – and for a good reason, because people are increasingly less happy despite having ‘more’ of everything at their disposal.
It turns out wealth and status are less important than small things in life, like spending time with those you love and eating your favorite food, especially when it is cooked with love.
The same is true for being productive.
We often read about life advice like – 8 things we must do before 8 am. And to its credit, this advice may make you more productive. Of course, being productive can make you more successful, but it won’t make you happier beyond a point.
If you worry too much about getting more out of seconds in your life, you may not enjoy life, which is essential for being happy.
So stay clear of when-then traps. Thinking that you’ll be happy when you’ll have more money, a dream job, the perfect relationship. Because these will never make one happy because perfection and ‘more’ are moving the goalposts. Only knowing what is good enough for you and doing what makes you happy every day will make you happy.
Robert Hasting said it well in his poem The Station:
So, stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot oftener, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more and cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.