Pursuing Happiness is a Trap

Arc Sosangyo
8 min readMay 13, 2021
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on unsplash.com

Pursuing happiness is marketed by our society as something that we can obtain. And that’s where our mental health started to screw up.

If you are feeling anxious or depressed and have met me years ago, I can make it worse by saying happiness comes from within you, or you just lack gratitude that’s why you’re not happy. Looking back, how I wish time machine exist, so that I can go back in time and punch my former self so hard, my near sighted eye will see it clearly. Good heavens, I’ve never been so wrong in my life. Good thing life let me experienced quarter life crisis to show me the error in my beliefs. Experiencing an endless loop of anxiety and depression teaches me how society are so wrong about our belief that pursuing happiness is the ultimate goal in life.

Patterns are the same

My initial plan is to begin this article by telling a story of a once famous celebrity who committed suicide this 21st century. Just like any writer who wants a good, unique, and accurate story, I did my research and thoroughly read stories from their rise to stardom to their unexpected suicide. Hours spent looking for a story left me with the dilemma on what should I put here. Don’t get the wrong idea. All their stories are worth mentioning and we can all learn a thing or two from them.

With the hope of eliminating my dilemma, I instead look for a story about people whose lives are destroyed months after winning the lottery. Still, there are tons of interesting stories worth mentioning that will provide us some life lessons. But again, it still left me with a dilemma on what story to choose.

Feeling exhausted from researching, a thought suddenly hits me… That’s the point, the pattern is just the same. All of them just wanted to be happy. And in the process of them seeking happiness only results to despair.

It turns out, the more we pursue happiness the more we feel terrible.

The paradox of happiness

Allow me to list some few life’s paradoxes. If you force people to love you, you won’t be loved. The more you try to impress people, the less impressive you’ll be. If you’re trying hard to please people, you’ll be annoying. The same thing goes to happiness. Forcing happiness will only make…

Arc Sosangyo

Father | Husband | Self-help Author | Coder | Traveler