The “Arrival Fallacy” trap*
The Arrival Fallacy trap is the belief that when you arrive at a certain destination, you’ll be happy, as opposed to focussing on enjoying the progression towards the destination.
The problem is that although you may anticipate great happiness in arrival, arriving rarely makes you as happy as you had expected.
Why? By the time you’ve arrive at the destination, you are expecting to reach it, so it has already been incorporated into your happiness. The arrival often brings additional unanticipated work and responsibility (having a baby, getting a promotion, buying a house, etc.) which often bring many more emotions than sheer happiness. Furthermore, arriving at one goal usually reveals another, even more challenging goal.
The solution is, therefore, to take pleasure in the progression towards goal achievement (known as the pre-goal-attainment positive effect).
To enjoy now.
To take pleasure from the atmosphere of growth.
The arrival fallacy doesn’t mean that pursuing goals isn’t a route to happiness, it certainly is, just that the goal attainment is, at most, equally, if not less important than the progress towards the goal.
Friedrich Nietzsche words this sentiment as: “The end of a melody is not its goal; but nonetheless, if the melody had not reached its end it would not have reached its goal either. A Parable”
Click on the “Live in the Unique, Present Moment” block in the Happiness Building for more information on enjoying this moment, now.
*The Arrival Fallacy is described by Tal Ben-Shahar in his book Happier.
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