Miguel de Cervantes, the author of DON QUIXOTE, said, “The road is better than the inn.”
This seems counterintuitive. Isn’t it in achieving our goal that we find satisfaction and joy? The road is long and tedious. How could that be better than arriving at our destination?
Happiness researchers Shawn Achor and Michelle Gielan have found that Cervantes is indeed correct.
Their research has shown that there are several things we need to do then if we want to be truly happy. The first is to set goals that we feel good about.
The second thing we need to do is to foster a spirit of gratitude. It takes time to achieve our goals, and we will certainly experience setbacks. It is therefore important each day to take time to write down or to talk about what we are thankful for. In doing so, we realize that we are indeed progressing, and that even the smallest step has meaning.
When fostering this attitude, we will likely find that we become reflective in achieving our goals and set further targets as we move forward.
Professional football player Aaron Rodgers, for example, found that after winning the Super Bowl in 2011, he was not satisfied. Today he is using his fame to bring positive change in the world as a spokesperson for Raise Hope for Congo, fostering awareness of horrible crimes against humanity happening in a place that we seem to have forgotten.
Have meaningful goals and be thankful for every step along the way. The key to a happy life really is that simple.
As Shawn Achor says, “Happiness is the joy we feel as we’re moving toward our potential.”