Gary Keller, founder of the largest real estate company in the world, says that if you ask people what they want in life, they’ll probably tell you that they want happiness.
Happiness seems to be what most people demand and strive for in life, but it’s also what most people understand the least.
Ultimately, most of our actions and behavior is intended to make us happy, but happiness doesn’t work the way we think it works.
In the book “Civilization and Its Discontents,” Sigmund Freud says,
“We are so made that we can derive [happiness] only from a contrast and very little from a state of things.”
Happiness is when needs are met to a high degree. Therefore, they can only be brief experiences. This is because when any desired situation is prolonged, it only produces a feeling of mild comfort.
What this means is, in order to feel happy, you have to first feel unhappy. You must first experience the pain of hunger to experience the joy of eating.
This is because to be continuously full on food would rob you from the pleasure of eating the food you enjoy.
Ask yourself, would you want to never feel hungry again for the rest of your life? At first, this may sound amazing, but would you really want to?
The reason we struggle to find continual happiness is because happiness is a contrast.
Too many people try to pursue happiness, and they overindulge in what they think will make them happy. But overindulging in anything will guarantee that you won’t find any happiness.