Beware of Destination Addiction!


I used to think that in order to attain happiness, I had to first of all achieve certain milestones: graduate, pass my driving test, buy my first (or second) car, move cities, be promoted..

I was therefore left somewhat baffled when even after having accomplished all these goals, the euphoric high only lasted a short while. My blank, nonchalant, dissatisfied state of mind had set back in. 

Destination Addiction: This term was coined by Dr. Robert Holden. It is a state of mind which refers to the idea that success or happiness is a destination that we are travelling to: “I’ll feel accomplished once I get married”. This is unfortunately limiting many of us from enjoying the ride. 


Some of us suffer from destination addiction because we truly believe happiness is coming with the next big change. This trend is eminent amongst a lot of 20 something year olds who already are going through an existential crisis, fuelled by the added pressure of pursuing meaningful relationships in (often) the hope of it leading to marriage. This is followed by aspirations of being in a worthy professional career and then plans to have kids by a certain age.

I admit I was amongst those who think as such. Although a very special somebody (Shout out to KC, don’t get gassed lol) knocked me out of this mentality. Society has conditioned the vast majority of us to think about the journey of life in a very  synchronized manner, which in itself is problematic. We are taught to go to school, get a job, get married, get in debt, work to pay off this debt, have kids, retire at 67 and then die. I don’t know about you but that’s just sad.


One of the major problems about destination addiction is that it robs you of the opportunity to learn about yourself in the moment and focuses on everything outside of your control. Destination addiction is deceitful because it makes you conclude that happiness is something you have to seek rather than create. 

It’s not to say that we should not set out goals, but rather we should also take time to enjoy life as it is right now. Ineffectively, destination addiction focuses purely on finishes and not on purpose. 

Life is the journey, not the destination.

For this reason, the answer lies in recognising that happiness never comes from the destination. Happiness is a choice we make. It doesn’t come from material possessions, circumstances or achievements. Rather, it comes from an attitude of gratitude. It comes from paying attention and cherishing the relationships and people we have been blessed with today.  

Enjoy the journey of reaching your goals. The journey is what makes you YOU.



– V.O.L

21 Comments

  1. I love this. I’m better at dealing with “destination addiction” better than I have before. I’m learning to just enjoy the journey of unbecoming everything I thought I was to become the most I can be in route to where I ultimately want to me. This was great and very well written.

    Like

  2. 10,000% agree with this post! I had terrible destination addiction in my late teens and throughout my early to mid twenties. I got the job I wanted, my own place, no boo, my own car, all these things I thought amounted to my happiness. Then, like you said, I found that I still had that empty feeling. It drove me crazy and I was going to some pretty desperate places mentally to try and fill that hole. God finally got me to understand that my happiness is not in a destination, but in a state of mind, of spirituality. My faith and relationship with God is where my happiness lies. Even in the times when I don’t understand Him or I feel disconnected from Him, knowing that I am His and that He is guiding my life makes me happy. I think a big part of the destination addiction is that our generation was sold a dream: “You can do anything!” “Reach for the stars!” they told us. So we did, we went after the stars. Then we realized, one, how hard life is. No one really prepared us for that. Then we realized that the stars were endless, abs that they didn’t exist at just one height. So we exhaust ourselves by constantly trying to reach for stars that have no end, instead of falling on to the stars and beauty that lies right in front of us.

    This was such a fantastic read!!!

    Like

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