Being successful at getting what you want doesn’t always equate to happiness. As this quote by Dale Carnegie reminds us, happiness is wanting what you get. When we examine the idea of wanting what you get, we can break it down in two ways.
- Sometimes we want the wrong things, thinking that they would make us happy. And when we finally get them, we realize they aren’t the things we really want. Although we may have achieved success and gotten what we wanted, it doesn’t give us the feeling of happiness we had anticipated. So in the end, we don’t want (i.e. desire) what we get.
- Sometimes we do get what we want and it is what we really want. It’s not that we later come to the realization that we had wanted the wrong thing. Instead, the problem is we don’t take time to feel gratitude for what we wanted and got. So in the end, we don’t want (i.e appreciate) what we get.
In life, we must both desire and appreciate what we want and get in order for those things to have any real positive impact on our happiness. Because once that sense of accomplishment wanes, there may not be much left, and we might begin to wonder why we’re still unhappy–when we got what we wanted after all. But there’s more to it than that. Which is why it’s important to evaluate every success in getting what we want based on both our desire and appreciation.