You'll never get there

We imagine that the next promotion, relationship, productivity hack, or purchase is going to be the one that finally make our lives permanently better -- we'll finally have made it.

If you've ever gotten any of these things you've chased after, why do you still feel you haven't made it, like something is still lacking? Because of the The Hedonic Treadmill we adapt to our situation no matter what. There is no change you could make to your life that would permanently make it beautiful and easy and make you feel like you've "made it".

Yet each decision or new goal feels like it could be life-changing. This makes sense from an evolutionary perspective: Overestimating how good future rewards will be, obtaining them, and then becoming dissatisfied and looking for more and better is the strategy that got us here.

But this trait of constant striving is no longer adaptive: Striving is the source of both suffering and progress.

You just can't get there -- to that magical place you imagine where you are happy forever. So relax a little and stop trying so hard, and remember that the life you think you're missing out on -- the one with a bigger house and better friends -- would just have different sources of dissatisfaction, not less of it.

At the very least you'll never get there through any method of trying to get there. I think there may be some ways to get "there" through a deep meditative practice or something like that, which is striking closer to the root source of dissatisfaction but that is extremely hard and still tentative.

One possible remedy to this problem: You can live each moment for itself even in the context of greater progress and Systems are better than goals.


We constantly imagine that the next goal, decision, item, or person will permanently change our lives for the better -- we'll have made it. But this hasn't happened yet... And it never will.

Give up the struggle. You will never get there and you'll never make it in any permanent sense.


Wherever you go there you are

"Where am I supposed to get?; Who is supposed to get somewhere?"