“We suffer, literally, from the pursuit of happiness. We are always on the run, on the move, and on the go. Our goal is not to enjoy the day, it is to get through the day.” — Robert Holden
Robert Holden, a popular British psychologist and bestselling author coined the phrase “destination addiction.” Destination addiction is “a preoccupation with the idea that happiness is somewhere else.” Happiness is never where we are, it is always somewhere else. Many people suffer from this addiction and it is a major hindrance to being successful and experiencing the good things in life.
People who suffer from destination addiction subscribe to the very false idea that happiness is a destination. There are other things that these types of people see as mere destinations — success, relationships, careers, and even money. We always have to get somewhere, do something, or be someone before we can enjoy the moment. The problem is, we never get to the place we think we should, or do the things we think we should, or become who we think we should become.
Life isn’t just about an end, or even just about a beginning. If it were all about the end, we would only read the last chapter of books, only take final exams in college, and only eat dessert at dinnertime. It’s not just about the end. It’s about all of the moments and minutes in between the beginning and the end. How are we making those moments matter? What are we doing to make those minutes count? Addicted to the destination, we forget to enjoy the ride.
On our speedy way to wherever it is we are going, we often miss everything we’re really looking for. Rushing through life, we forget to stop by the houses of purpose and vision, goals and values. When we stop long enough to seek these things out, we will find them. They will take us down a much more fulfilling, productive, and meaningful road than the pursuit of happiness alone ever will.
Here’s the catch. Often while we’re in hot pursuit of happiness, we never find it. But when we’re in pursuit of purpose and goals, vision and values, we find that and happiness along the way. Instead of speeding through life, we slow down to enjoy life; instead of seeking temporary things, we find permanent qualities; instead of looking for something called happiness, we are living for something called purpose; and instead of living off of ego, we begin to live by grace.
“Whatever you do, do it with intelligence, and keep the end in view.” — Thomas à Kempis