Instead of striving for through end goals or objects, try cultivating day-to-day wellness. Since, as Calvin Holbrook describes, scientific research shows that really is a journey and not a destination.

You are watching: Happiness is a choice not a destination


" is a journey, not a destination’ is an often-heard saying, and many world would argue that the search for health is the best motivator of all humankind. But does this motto really organize true? And what does science need to say on the subject? 

The expression says that human beings shouldn’t think that getting to a certain life goal will certainly award them through The destination in question can be among numerous end-points we"re often striving for in life: that dream task, buying an initial home, meeting the perfect companion, or snagging that astronomical pay climb you"ve been working so tough for.  

RELATED: Money can not buy (other than as soon as you spend it like this!)

Chances are if you do reach one of your destination life objectives, you might indeed feel happier – yet only temporarily. Why? Due to the fact that of our set-suggest. 


Joy journey vs destination: set-point

One theory in research study puts forward that humans have a so-dubbed ‘set-point’. According to psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, this hereditary set-point renders up about 50 per cent of our levels – the remainder coming from our situations and exactly how we live life.

Enjoy the ride: is a journey, not destination. shutterstock

Our set-suggest mostly determines our overall health, and all of us have actually different levels. Because of this, those with higher set-points will be happier many of the moment compared via those that have actually a much less joyful outlook (due to their reduced set-point).

Going via our life journey, we oscillate around this set-suggest. Unhappy life occasions shift levels below their set-suggest while positive or exciting occasions boost your levels over it. 


RELATED: Is genetic?


However, sooner or later, as soon as that event becomes normalized or alters, levels return to the original set-suggest (for example, as soon as we feel the "holiday blues" after coming ago from the high of a current holiday).

Likewise, once you reach your meant destination, it may not last, or somepoint may get in the means of the regarded you assumed it would certainly bring. For example, after acquiring what you thought was your dream job, you actually found it lugged you most negative tension due to the extra workload (and your demanding new boss). That dream brand-new apartment you bought? Well, the noisy neighbors upstairs are doing their finest to destroy your peace. Just met your "perfect" partner? You"ll shortly discover all the things around them that drive you up the wall! Well, you obtain the picture.


“Chances are if you perform reach one of your location life objectives, you will indeed feel happier – but just temporarily.”

In addition, at some suggest these final desticountries may dissettle all together. Indeed, as the just consistent thing in life is readjust, believing that is a destination fairly than the journey itself provides little sense. In truth, this pursuit of – the consistent desire and also drive to attain points we think will certainly rise our health and joy – frequently ends in disappointment (the so-called ‘ trap’. )


Improving your journey to

As debated, according to Lyubomirsky, our hereditary set-point is responsible for about 50 per cent of our The remainder depends on our scenarios (10 per cent ) and also our life activity (40 per cent).

However before, some researches indicate that by transforming our day-to-day life task – focusing on our journey and also not a last destination – we deserve to increase our internal set-point to a greater level and also come to be happier. Certainly, tright here are many type of smaller sized, everyday activities we deserve to select to improve our basic well-being. So, below are 5 that you have the right to employ best amethod.


1) Be kind

Studies show we have the right to settle our collection suggest higher by helping others. In reality, according to one — analyzing information from the Germale Socio-Economic Panel Survey – the trait the majority of strongly attached to long-term boosts is a constant commitment to altruism. It confirmed that the even more compassionate we are, the happier our life journey seems to be.  

This was backed up by an additional examine by Sonja Lyubomirskies published in the Resee of General Psychology in 2005. When she had actually students perform 5 weekly acts of kindness over a period of six weeks, they noticed a far-reaching increase in levels compared to a manage group of students.  

RELATED: The benefits of kindness


2) Practise gratitude

Cultivating gratitude is scientifically-prrange to increase your journey, and also is just one of the simplest life alters you can make as it needs little bit initiative. 


“As the only constant point in life is change, believing that is a destination fairly than the journey really renders little feeling.”

According to a 2003 report in the journal of Social Behavior and Personality, grateful world tfinish to appreciate basic pleasures (defined as "those pleasures in life that are available to the majority of people”). Indeed, a study publimelted in The Journal of Studies showed that writing a everyday or weekly gratitude journal can make finding simpler. 


3) Meditate

Starting your day through just 5 to 10 minutes of meditation will aid you to construct your Try meditating in the morning shortly after waking: the instant heightened inner clarity it will certainly provide you will certainly set you up for the remainder of the day.

In reality, the benefits of meditation are many. Tright here are plenty of research studies that show that it deserve to rise levels by reducing stress and anxiety hormones, shrinking the component of the brain that controls stress and anxiety, and by preventing rumicountry, amongst various other things.

Inner focus: meditation will certainly aid your journey

And, according to Psychology Today, meditation is the strongest mental exercise that has the power to recollection your collection suggest, thus turning you right into a more joyful person: regular meditation exercise have the right to literally rewire your brain so you deserve to end up being happier. 


4) Build quality relationships

If is a journey and also not a location, then it’s the human being that are via you on your journey that deserve to make all the distinction. Science is clear on this: you deserve to discover and also preserve via emerging top quality relationships.

Humans are a social species and also require constant call. In a 75-year, multigenerational examine, Robert Waldinger measured levels in civilization from Boston’s poorest neighborhoods. He found that the a lot of joyful were those through high-quality social relations.

See more: From The Long Arm Of The Law, The Definition & Meaning, Meaning Of The Long Arm Of The Law In English


5) Choose

Bronnie Ware, a palliative care nurse that devoted her career to functioning with end-of-life patients, found a layout in those coming to the end of their lives: they has actually a deep regret about not ‘letting’ themselves be happy. Ware, the author of The Top Five Regrets Of The Dying, penned a blog for the Huffington Post, in which she wrote: 

“Many type of did not realize until the finish that is an option. They had continued to be stuck in old trends and habits. The so-called "comfort" of familiarity overflowed into their eactivities, as well as their physical lives.


RELATED: Cherophobia – the are afraid of explained

“Fear of adjust had them pretending to others, and also to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh effectively and have actually silliness in their life again ... Life is a choice. It is your life. Choose consciously, select wisely, pick honestly. Choose”



All to often we are led to think that by obtaining goals or possessions we will certainly feel happier. But the fact is – and also scientific research agrees – that once we reach those desticountries, our levels quickly go back to their original set-point. Certainly, frequently leads to success, but success does not always bring about 

Instead, research study mirrors that the best way to keep constant wellness is to focus on the everyday transforms you can make in your life, through altruism, gratitude and top quality relationships being essential factors: really is a journey and not a destination. 

In truth, research in the area of positive psychology has presented that is an option that anyone can make. As psychologist William James put it, “The greatest exploration of any type of generation is that a human can transform his life by changing his mindset.” ●

Key image: shutterstock/Olga Danylenko


Written by Calvin Holbrook

Calvin edits our magazine, and being an artist, lover of swimming, nature, yoga, dancing to house/techno, and also all things vintage! Find out even more.