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Arrival Fallacy

By Dr Kim Hazendonk

Value the process over the end result.

Have you ever attained a big goal, such as a job promotion, starting a new romantic relationship or buying that bigger house, only to realise you don’t feel as happy as you thought you would?

The Arrival Fallacy is a term coined by positive psychology expert Tal Ben-Shahar in his book Happier.

Many of us fall into the trap of thinking that achieving our ‘big’ goals will make us happy. If we work hard, we will succeed, and if we succeed, we will be happy.

The problem is, when we reach our goals, we move the goal post – “Okay, this job promotion is good, but the NEXT promotion is the one that will REALLY bring me happiness.”

Whilst having goals can be motivating and drive us toward action, research shows that high performance is much more likely if we find ways to think optimistically and look after our well-being.

It’s the chicken and egg question – which comes first - does success lead to happiness or does happiness lead to success? (ps. it’s the latter).

Enjoy the journey toward achieving your goals. Celebrate the small successes, the people you meet along the way, the skills you learn and may even come to master. Value the process over the end result.

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