People are happier when their goals are aligned, meaning their short term goals lead to the achievement of their long term goals.
(If your short term goal is to be a great poet and your long term desire is to be a billionaire I’m really not that surprised you’re miserable.)
Via Jonathan Haidt’s The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom:
The psychologists Ken Sheldon and Tim Kasser have found that people who are mentally healthy and happy have a higher degree of “vertical coherence” among their goals—that is, higher-level (long term) goals and lower-level (immediate) goals all fit together well so that pursuing one’s short-term goals advances the pursuit of long-term goals.
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