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How Having Goals in Life Can Help Reduce Depression

I took my wife out recently. We spoke about random issues and the topic of happiness came up. She asked me if I’m happy with life. I responded I’m either happy or neutral. And I couldn’t remember the last time I was down or depressed.

She said, “you must get upset when you see people with wealth, nice houses and freedom to buy what they want, and you can’t do the same”.

I told her that there is an issue with what makes her happy. Her concept of happiness is unachievable. As there are many people with wealth and the freedom to buy what they want, but they are still not happy. Also, how much do you need to be happy? To be happy, do you need an impressive car? After you get that car, you’d want a nice house. Once you get that, you’d want a million dollars. By always looking at those above you in the materialistic race, you’d never be satisfied, as there will always be someone who has more than you.

I don’t focus much on others, but instead, I focus on improving myself. I knew I have improved x amount after a month or so. Then that keeps me going.

If I do get depressed, It’s because I’m doing something which is against my goals of self-improvement.
It’s as if my wife and my depression are linked to our goals. Her goals of having what she doesn’t have, and my goals of self-improvement. When we don’t attain our goals, then we get depressed.

The main difference between our goals is that my goals (of self-improvement) are in my control. Therefore, me being depressed is in my control. My wife’s goals (having what others have) are not in her control, therefore her being depressed is not mostly in her control.

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