Achieving a goal is like going from Zero to One. As soon as you reach One, you experience that euphoric feeling of accomplishment. Except it lasts all of seven seconds. Then the goalposts move, and you’re back to Zero.
The nice new car you saved up for is now “meh”. The new status you’ve achieved is now “meh”. The big pay rise is now “meh”. The thing you just launched is now “meh”.
We fall in the trap of wanting more, or better. But like chasing a rainbow, more and better keep a relative distance from us.
The truth is, 99.9% of the time, you’re at Zero. One doesn’t exist. The process is all we have. Being content is a superpower in this capitalist, ego, status-driven world.
Surely we must enjoy the means if the ends are so fleeting? If the journey makes us miserable, it is in our power to change. Why do something if it makes you unhappy? Is seven seconds of euphoria worth it?
Think hard about why you desire the goal you’re aiming for.
Are you enjoying the journey?
Are you growing and learning?
Is it out of obligation to someone else?
Is it for the social status it grants you?
Are you putting up with misery to get there? How will you feel when you realise that, at the end, the journey was all you had?
Do you think an Olympic gold medalist did it just for the medal?
Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of men's desires, but by the removal of desire.
Epictetus (Discourses, 108 A.D)