Updated: Dec 28, 2021
There are 2 kinds of happiness in this life: Temporary and Long Lasting!
When we sit down in a comfortable seat with our favorite treats on our lap in the movie theater just as the movie we have been waiting to see begins we are truly happy, but for how long? 6 hours later are we still elated? How about the next day? We are all guilty of quick fix happiness distractions like Netflix, YouTube or Junk Food. The happiness is real, but when we are finished we don't exactly feel fulfilled or even proud of our accomplishment in polishing off all those french fries.
“Lasting happiness comes from steadily working to accomplish your goals and advancing in the direction of your life's purpose” - Robin Sharma
Just like crash diets don't last because the principle behind them is faulty so too is the crash happiness plan, and neither are right for you.
Longer Lasting Happiness
Happiness comes from seeing progress in the right direction with the right goals.
Progress comes from consistent concentrated effort on the right things that move the needle.
Consistency can come from one of two sources: Habit or Will Power.
In order to create a habit you need to understand there are always 4 steps:
Cue: this is the trigger that sets the following in motion
Craving: this is the desire to perform the habitual behavior
Response: What we do to satisfy the craving
Reward: The sense of fulfillment when we accomplish the task
Therefore we need to apply the following as taught by James Clear in his must read book: Atomic Habits
Cue: Make it Obvious
Craving: Make it Attractive
Response: Make it Easy
Reward: Make it Satisfying
Unfortunately habits are not bulletproof so in the end as we move toward self-mastery won't always be able to automate our goals with healthy habits. Sometimes we just need to use our will power to "get 'r done". I have found the best advice on this to come from Jeffery & Jami Downs in their book Streaking: The Simple Practice of Conscious, Consistent Actions That Create Life-Changing Results. Where habits fail you STREAKING can swoop in for the rescue. The key is to make the action laughably simple like a streak of simply putting on your workout shoes, then since you already have them on you are more likely to take that jog. Even if you don't, you have kept that streak alive ensuring the probability of future success. Continuing your streak becomes the motivation that fueled by your will power will keep you progressing toward those worthwhile goals and ultimately pay dividends in happiness over the long haul.
If lasting happiness is what you want then skip the junk food and binge watching for laughably simple and easy to accomplish daily goals that with consistently over time lead you toward your better self and ultimately give you daily doses of happiness that lasts longer than that 2 hour movie and buttery popcorn!