I recently watched some videos. In the videos, the people were being asked what they’re future goals were and how they planned on spending the rest of their lives. All of the people asked were in the age range of 22-26. And they all gave the same answers...
“I just want to travel around the world and live my best life”. I find this answer to be a very low-quality answer. Primarily because it’s generic and it’s an idea given to people. It’s not necessarily an idea people adopt on their own. But I’ll save my thoughts on that for another day. In this article, I want to bring up a deeper issue.
It’s an issue that came up as I pondered why everyone seems so obsessed with drinking, partying, and “traveling”. Most people I speak to don’t have any concrete, long-term goals.
Their goals are vague.
Or they’re common.
I’d venture that most people haven’t really thought about what they’d want long-term in life.
I sense that very few people can think through a life 5,10,15,20 years from now.
However, most people claim that they want to be Happy.
But the idea of Happiness is an interesting idea. I believe that we confuse Joy and Happiness as concepts.
What is Joy?
I view the idea of Joy as a moment in time that creates a peak level of excitement. For example, a party might put you in a state of joy. Or a good movie can create some form of joy. These are fleeting moments. The feeling comes and goes.
What is Happiness?
What comes next is either happiness or sadness. I’d consider Happiness to be a state in which your default setting isn’t negative or anxious. If you’re happy, you’re not concerned with the burdens of the world at a major level. More or less, you’re content. To be Depressed is to experience the opposite. A depressed person has a negative default setting. They’re often thinking about the bad things that are occurring, have occurred, or can occur in the future.
I believe that what most people seek is joy (and something deeper that I'll explain shortly) but they believe that joy should be permanent. To me, this is a mistake. In pursuit of Joy, we often seek drugs or alcohol… Anything to get the surge of dopamine. But the pursuit of these dopamine spikes are often what lead to our demise. The unfortunate reality is that as you consistently feel dopaminergic spikes, you train your brain to adapt. This forces you to up the ante. Compare this to drinking alcohol. If you don’t drink often, a single drink can make you tipsy. However, as you drink more frequently and build up a tolerance, you need more of the same substance to achieve the desired effect. If you get too deep into this cycle, for many people, their baseline happiness drops and they become reliant on the alcohol to even feel normal. Over time, this is what leads to alcoholism. So, what’s the solution? What is really the key to achieving the desired result?
Why you should seek Fulfillment and not Happiness
Personally, I believe that at our core, all humans desire fulfillment. We confuse this with Joy and Happiness. But I believe we all want that slow-drip, yet consistent sensation of satisfaction. I think that the means in which most people seek fulfillment is incorrect.
No amount of drugs, no level of partying, no trip around the world, and no degree of vacationing will fill the void. I think fulfillment is created by doing hard work on oneself. Fulfillment is earned. It cannot be bought.
What I believe is the quintessential method for achieving fulfillment is Eudaimonia. However, I think challenging yourself a little each day is a great way to starting down the path of fulfillment. While I still have goals I wish to accomplish and experiences I’d like to have, I consider myself to be fulfilled. And the key to my fulfillment involves the Internal Validation that comes from challenging myself.
Most people do the opposite. Most seek External Validation from the world around them. They post photos and videos from parties they're at. They take photos of exotic locations they've been to. They flex on social media and online. They rely on stimulants to feel something. All of these things will ultimately prevent them from ever being fulfilled. Only by finding internal validation can one truly be fulfilled in life.
Seek Eudaimonia by finding Internal Validation. Don’t rely on the externalities of the world to do the job for you. To do so will put you on a path of self-destruction.
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