1 counterintuitive piece of advice that guarantees long-term happiness

Short post, but this is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

The road to happiness is counterintuitive

If you want to be happy in the long term, you almost always have to be “unhappy” in the short term.

Let’s say you want to be happy with your body in the long term.

Short-term happiness would be eating the bag of Skittles in your desk drawer.

  • The Skittles will give you an instant rush.
  • They’ll taste fantastic.
  • And then they’ll spike your insulin and tell your body, “Now is a great time to store fat.”

You’ve made yourself happy in the short term, but sacrificed long-term happiness.

The converse of this would be deciding to eat a healthy lunch, or have a green smoothie instead.

Is a healthy lunch so amazingly tasty that you feel a rush of happiness in the moment?

Eh, maybe. Definitely not the same rush you’d feel eating a bag of Skittles.

  • It’s a different kind of happiness.
  • It feels more calm, more at ease.

You’ve sacrificed a short-term burst for a long-term state of being.

If you can apply this way of thinking to every aspect of your life, you will learn that short-term rewards are fleeting and addictive.

They rarely get you to where it is you truly want to go.

Give up the short term for the long term.

And over time, the building blocks of long-term success will become their own source of short-term happiness — because in each moment you will know that what you’re doing now is getting you one step closer to where it is you want to be.

This article first appeared on Medium.