Wants Come After Needs

“Is it quite impossible to unite happiness with a yearning for what we don’t have. Happiness has all that it wants, and resembling the well-fed, there shouldn’t be hunger or thirst.”
-Epictetus, Discourses, 3.24.17

Don’t trick yourself into thinking you’ll be happy once X happens. It will take the focus away from the real problems holding you back from happiness right now. If you’re not happy now, you certainly won’t be happy by attaining more than you need. Having more than you need is a luxury and not a solution.

Have goals, but be content knowing where you actually stand. Know you already have so much more than others will ever have. It is good to want things but predicting your happiness off getting them is dangerous. You will get stuck in a vicious cycle of want and over consumption that will not lead you to content happiness.

Instead, focus on cultivation strong relationships and setting your life up so you have everything you need. Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, focusing your time, energy, and resources to things you really want will just be the cherry on top, as living without them wouldn’t affect your overall level of happiness.

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