Tuesday, August 11, 2020

This Action Is Depriving You Of Happiness And How You Combat It

Although the purpose of this blog primarily focuses on the logistics of achieving financial independence, I also go beyond that on occasion. After all, money is meaningless if one doesn't develop their character to paraphrase Aristotle.

What we'll be discussing in more detail today is something that all of us aim to achieve beyond simply attaining FIRE, which is happiness. It is the reason that we all live and breathe. Without even a remote chance of attaining true happiness, what would the actual point of life be?

The particular action that I often catch myself and others engaging in is the dirty deed of "wishing." While it sounds innocent to wish and wishing while taking action is actually a fine pursuit (commonly referred to as dreaming), simply wishing for something is the worst thing that one can do for both their short-term and long-term health and well-being for reasons detailed below.

Wishing Deprives You Of Happiness By Focusing On What You Don't Have

I'd be willing to wager that we all have passively wished for something, whether it be a million dollars, time to pass or rewind, etc.

The issue with those wishes is that aside from the second being impossible, (unless time travel becomes feasible, which seems unlikely) it also is impractical to wish for something without aggressively pursuing it.

As a quip to someone passively wishing something that I've heard a few times in my Midwest upbringing goes, "wish in one hand and @#$% in the other and what do you have?"

Rather than focusing on what you do have (something I have referenced in a past post), you focus on what you don't.

This action psychologically has been proven to deprive you of happiness. There's a reason that the concept of gratitude is as prevalent as it is when discussing how to attain happiness.

All That Time Spent Wishing Could Be Spent Chasing Your Dreams

As I've alluded to in another post, the best time to start chasing your dreams was yesterday, but today is the second best time, so what are you waiting for?

One of the biggest reasons that you absolutely must chase your dreams, is that the inaction and the mystery of what could have been will haunt you until your very last breath. 

It's oftentimes difficult to chase your dreams, whether that dream is to become financially independent, a successful musician, (insert your dreams here).

This is for a variety of reasons, including your own fear of "failing" (a winner is really just a loser that doesn't quit, so don't fear "failure"), your perceptions of what others will think of you (helpful hint: they're probably too busy living their own lives to care or they don't share your dream, so they'll never truly understand), or perhaps you're overwhelmed with the amount of work that it will take to achieve your dream (remember that every 1,000 mile journey begins with a single step).

In my case, I find comfort in the fact that regardless of whether or not I achieve financial independence at an early age, I'm giving everything I have to achieve that goal that I have held for many years, and that I will be better off financially, even if I fail to achieve my dream. 

When you are doing everything that you can to realize a dream as I am, all you can do is continue to work toward that dream, and reevaluate as your circumstances change.

I also have found that as you disclose your dreams to others, there may be some that try to dissuade you from pursuing that dream and there will be some that support you in the pursuit of your dream.

Some may try to dissuade you from pursuing your dream, but it is worth noting that they probably don't understand your dream precisely because it isn't their dream. 

Not everyone will understand and that is fine, so you need to work toward realizing your dream in order to eventually achieve self-actualization on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, which is essential to achieving happiness and living a fulfilling life.

And finally, I have found in my journey of striving for financial independence and attaining at least $20,000 in annual forward dividends to do so, it can be overwhelming at times to fathom how much dividend income that seems to be to me at this time.

The important thing that I remind myself of time and time again is that simply starting the process itself is a small victory. 

Breaking down a goal into many small and actionable steps increases the odds of achieving that goal, which is what I have done by setting various financial milestones, such as $100, $500, $1,000 in annual forward dividend income, and so on.

When you reframe your mindsets from the common fears referenced above into the latter pragmatic mindsets, chances are that you'll find yourself invigorated with a sense of purpose that allows you to fearlessly chase your dreams.

Concluding Thoughts:

Wishing isn't a bad thing by itself because desire is the first step toward achieving a goal, but it becomes a problem when you aren't taking any action toward realizing your dream. The worst thing in this life is to one day draw your last breath and realize that your life is replete with regrets.

While it can be difficult to chase your dreams, the reality is that you have no choice but to do so if you wish to live a fulfilling life with few regrets.

Once you reframe your mindset from one of self-defeat to empowerment toward realizing your dreams, you will find that working toward your dreams will become instinctive, thereby increasing your chances of living a fulfilling life.


Have you ever succumbed to the trap of passively wishing for something?

Do you share the same mindset that I do toward letting go of your fears of not achieving your dreams, what others will think of you, or that your dream is overwhelming?

As always, I appreciate your readership and welcome your comments in the comment section below. 


  1. I agree with you 100% that: "The worst thing in this life is to one day draw your last breath and realize that your life is replete with regrets".Very insightful post!

  2. Michael,

    Thanks for the comment and I'm glad you found value in the post!