The Paradox of Happiness: Why Desiring More Makes Us Miserable

The desire for more doesn’t create happiness but destroys it

Darius Foroux
Forge
Published in
7 min readMar 16, 2022

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A foundational idea in modern society is that we all need to strive for more. You can see this everywhere, from movies, books, articles, to the way people speak in private.

We often say something like, I want to be.. smarter, more successful, better, faster, etc. We’re always thinking about some kind of future moment when we will have more of whatever we’re after. More money, status, respect, love.

You see the desire for more in many ads as well. One of the best examples is a marketing campaign that Mcdonald’s ran a few years ago called “You deserve more.” It’s about their breakfast, and apparently, Micky D thinks we all deserve to have “more savory, more sweet.”

But it’s not the fault of companies and advertising agencies. They just give us what we want.

Many of us really believe that our desire for more is what makes us happy. The more we strive, the happier we become — whether during the pursuit, or when we accomplish our goals.

The tragedy is that the desire for more doesn’t create happiness but destroys it. The human mind is not one that’s appreciative of the present. As soon as we accomplish something, we…

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Darius Foroux
Forge
Writer for

Get a free excerpt of my new book, The Stoic Path to Wealth (Porfolio / Penguin), here: members.dariusforoux.com/stoic-path-excerpt