Try to avoid “the happy when” trap.


2024 will see the staging of the Paris Olympics. Thousands of athletes from all over the world will achieve their lifetime goal of “competing in the Olympics”.


These “Olympic Athletes” will have trained relentlessly for years and years and will have reached the absolute pinnacle of their sport.


The day after their competition ends – what then?


How long will this achievement sustain them?


Will they turn around and do it all again in 4 years?


Some will, most won’t.


For many the Olympic experience will be just another milestone in a life of training and competitions.


Hopefully, their coach will have instilled in them that competing in the Olympics may not bring them the happiness and fulfillment they expect.


”The secret to satisfaction has nothing to do with achievement, recognition or money.” Arthur c. Brooks


In his weekly blog “Friday Forward” Robert Glazer wrote, research indicates that those at the pinnacle of achievement often derive the least satisfaction from their achievements.”


When “high achievers” achieve a goal, they rarely spend very long enjoying the view. They quickly take stock and start working on the next big goal.


“No amount of applause, acclaim or wealth makes you worth more as a human being.” Ryan Holiday


As previously mentioned, 2 months ago we moved into our newly renovated apartment (the 17th home Maryanne and I have built/renovated together).


We are thoroughly enjoying the “new home” and it is living up to all of our expectations. But I often find myself thinking what’s next, I would love to do it again”.


I love the process of designing and building houses.


I get enormous enjoyment and satisfaction from doing the work.


Halfway through the renovation, I felt I would be happy when it was all finished. But two months after completion the “new feeling” has worn off and I miss looking forward to coming home each afternoon to see what work had been done.


We all fall into the “happy when trap”.


We mistakenly believe our happiness depends upon external gratification that will change our lives.


We live in a society that revolves around a “culture of consumption” which conditions us to constantly want more stuff, a new car, a bigger house, a pay rise. All these are nice to have, but don’t make us happy for very long.


“Everyone should get rich and famous and do everything they ever wanted, so they can see it’s not the answer.” Jim Carrey


Over the last 5 years, I have written 7 articles about success and happiness.


It’s a topic I just keep coming back to.


Aren’t we all in search of success and Happiness?


The main takeaway from all my reading and research on this topic is, having a purpose each day leads to achieving sustained progress and eventually sustained success.


Here are five things that can help you achieve sustained success.


  1. Prioritize your health. An unhealthy person has only one wish, while a healthy person has a world of opportunities.
  2. Prioritize learning. Learning new things and mastering new skills provides lasting joy and fulfillment.
  3. Build great relationships. We thrive when we feel closely connected with other people.
  4. Build financial stability. This allows you to break free from endless comparisons and live a more secure life on your own terms.
  5. Give away your time. Helping others to fulfill their potential is life’s ultimate purpose.


“Having a purpose is the difference between making a living and making a life.” Tom This


Thanks for reading,

Stay safe and play the long game.

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