Setting goals and achieving them is an exceptional feeling. Grinding away at your craft day after day to finally achieve an end result provides great life purpose and gratification.
As I grew up I was praised and rewarded for good results in my family unit, my school environment and among my peers. That positive feedback taught me to derive validation from positive results. And perhaps positive results only.
As I developed, particularly in the sports field, the distinction between performance and happiness blurred. My identity, my worth became dependent on my successes on the sports field. This also transferred to the classroom and then to social life. If you have ever read the Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson you are familiar with the concept that society wants you to be great, to be different, unique, and we are force fed this idea that we are special.
Manson writes, “After all, the greater the opportunity one has, the greater the anxiety of somehow squandering it. Thus, we stress: we need to make better grades, to get a better job, to date more attractive people, to have cooler hobbies, to make more friends, to be more liked and more popular. Simply being content with what we have isn’t good enough anymore. In fact, for some it’s tantamount to giving up.”
Through this paradigm we strive, we bust our asses, to live up to those expectations. We set goals that we think we want then we set expectations of how happy we will be, how validated, how adequate we will be, when we get cross that finish line. Your work ethic, consistency and dedication get you there. You achieved your goal. But then what do you feel? Stoked for a few hours, days? Then you are setting your sights on the next goal because you
need another hit of achievement-based dopamine. Don’t get me wrong you probably have some fun along the way and kudos to your drive and efforts.
There isn’t anything wrong with this. It’s badass.....if we approach it with detachment!
I have seen this pattern within me and my peers time and again. We have this inability to slow down and chill, to BE, because we always need that next high- whether that’s more accolades and achievements, participating in more events fearing we will miss out on something or, and this one is the most common, we try to involve ourselves in a crazy situation to get that adrenaline junkie high.
But what are we actually chasing?
This is why I started Crossfit, because I was so lost post collegiate basketball days, and fitness provided me with this zen meditation, with flow. A presence that I only achieved when I accomplished a goal, engaged in a high intensity activity or sport. After a while, like any “addiction” these highs lose their potency and I was left feeling a little empty (don’t get me wrong I still love life and enjoy myself) and a little lost. I had enormous feelings of inadequacy and like time was running out for me to really do something with my life (whatever the fuck that means). I also always felt like I was never doing enough
and my life so far wasn’t enough.
Then I read Eckhart Tolle’s Power of Now. And some cool shit happened…
Which I will get into next blog post!
Psychedelic Gypsy Queen