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#11: Arrival Fallacy

This episode we discuss Arrival Fallacy - the illusion that once we “make it,” once we attain our goal or reach our destination, we will achieve lasting happiness. The term was coined by Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D. in his book, Happier.

We discuss:

  • What Arrival Fallacy is, and it’s distant relative, Summit Syndrome
  • The Happiness Quadrants (and where you want to spend most of your time)
    • Rat race
    • Hedonism
    • Nihilism
    • Happiness Quadrant
  • Tips to enjoy the journey, including
    • Stop saying “I’ll be happy when [x]...”
    • Start lighting it up
    • Focus on what’s going right
    • Celebrate along the way
    • Concentrate on your relationships


  • “You often feel tired, not because you’ve done too much, but because you’ve done too little of what sparks a light in you.” -Alexander den Heijer
  • Start lighting it up!
  • Today, if you don’t know what your hobbies are, start dreaming.
  • As long as you know you’re going in the right direction, you’re going to get there.
  • If we can be mindful of those pleasant moments and really savor them, they can help carry us along as we endure unpleasantries.
  • We can learn how to absorb positive experiences.
  • What we really need is to be able to soak in stuff that’s more positive.
  • There’s so much going right all the time.
  • So we celebrate along the way. We can mourn along the way as well. All those things together will help us to find happiness in our journey.
  • The number one predictor of happiness is the quality tie we spend with people we care about and who care about us. (From Tal Ben-Shahar)
  • Happiness is the journey, not the destination. (Attributed to a lot of people including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Buddha, & Mahatma Gandhi)