A tricky statement, sometimes a bit confusing and convoluted but it’s actually quite true. What it means is this – the fact that we believe we always need more, want more and deserve more makes us unappreciative of who we are now. To ourselves we will never be enough because we’re not satisfied with our current gifts.
Believing that we need a certain car or a certain job to be happy for example is an unsustainable way of thinking. Think of it this way – you get the car and you get the job you wanted, what now? Are you truly happy or are you just going to want an even better car now and be pursuing another promotion? This is a cycle that can continue for the rest of your life – and it will probably get you a lot of things materialistically, but the fact that you always need more and want more will never allow you to have that sense of fulfilment that you long so dearly for.
Fulfilment means to be gratified by your achievements to this point, but also your current process of growth. What’s the point of simply getting that promotion you wanted if you haven’t even improved your skills? Wouldn’t you rather build your skills up in your current role rather than jump into a new role that you’re not ready for? It’s this constant need for status and hierarchy that pressures us into navigating the social landscape and trying to move up and it’s often not good for us.
We need to get to the core of our skills and receive our positive experience by growing and improving. This is something that will mostly be seen by ourselves – an important fact because our self worth is more important than any opinion another can make. It will keep us on track and fulfilled.
There’s nothing more fulfilling than knowing you’re constantly exceeding your limits. You’re able to lift more weight each week when you exercise, or you can run a mile in a shorter time. There’s heaps of ways to experience positively, even maybe learning to play a new song on an instrument every couple of weeks, it’s so fulfilling.
When a runner is in a race, if he is truly seeking fulfilment, his goal is not finish in first place, but his goal is to run his best time to set a personal best. That’s his positive experience. On the counter, if he is seeking the positive experience that comes with winning a race in the beginning, he may very well win (but often not), and even if he does he has nothing left to pursue. He can win a race again and it will mean the exact same thing. However, for the man who sets a personal best, he wants to keep improving his personal best time – to make his skills worthy of winning a race. See the difference?
We’ve got to have smaller and more sustainable goals for ourselves, so when we miss the mark we’re still motivated and inspired to succeed because we can track our improvement. The positive experience comes from growth and improvement on a personal level. The accolades will come later and they will mean so much more than just a win because fulfilment will already be a part of you.
The Pursuit For Positive Experience Is Actually A Negative Experience.
Inspired by Mark Manson
~ Adam, 2019