Why Getting What You Want Isn’t Happiness

Why Getting What You Want Isn’t Happiness

“Nowadays I’ve simply stopped being desperate about certain things. I’ve learned that happiness isn’t always about getting what you want.”

My father shares random incidents. One of them is this one.

“When I was a child, merchants from different states visited our village. They came with grains and grapes. We looked at those bunches of grapes and wondered what they tasted like…,” he says mentioning his simple lifestyle then.

Honestly, my grandmother was really poor. We had a mud house in my native hometown. Those grapes were a luxury.

“So when was the first time you ate grapes in your life?” I ask out of curiosity, trying to understand how it feels to get something you’ve been craving for.

“A few years later. We purchased some and ate.”

“How did it feel?”

“Nothing extraordinary,” he gives an average reply.

I thought he might have felt elated – but none of that.

I was expecting an exciting answer. But I didn’t get one. It reminded of how we’re all stuck in a rut of thinking that “getting something” brings happiness along with it.

Whom are we really kidding?

You know that old fable in which the fox tries getting some grapes but fails to do so. “The grapes were sour,” she says and walks away.

Well, what if the fox had really got the grapes and they were actually sour. That could’ve been the case, right? That’s what likely happens in life as well.

When you get what you want (or don’t)

I may be contradicting a lot of people, or even myself. After all, we’re living in a world where we set goals, accomplish them, and feel happier.

Getting what you want works fine most of the time, but not always.

The truth is that you can’t have everything. You can’t lament not having everything, either. Even when you try to, you deal with regrets, sacrifices, and pains. Life isn’t a perfect equation.

Even if you try to turn everything in your favor, you’re bound to be unsatisfied. When life lacks uncertainty, it’s obvious. You die following a map… and then wonder what happened.

  • Relationships fail
  • Career doesn’t guarantee bliss
  • Money loses its appeal
  • Plans go wrong
  • Things happen

You know it too.

You may be the one to get what you’ve badly wished for and start feeling pointless after a while. Or you may even lose and find something better.

It works either way.

It’s okay to fail. It’s fine to see life happen. It’s great to walk on new roads you had never thought of.

And all the while, make the most out of what you’ve got – that’s something you can control and cherish.