“Chasing the dream can be more rewarding than achieving it”
One of the most rewarding things about posting these articles is the interaction with readers from around the globe. This week’s article was inspired by a comment from last week. The subject was examining the motives behind our actions – even when it comes to choosing a profession (click here to read it).
The comment from Joe Samnik read, “Success is the great killer of dreams; money is a byproduct of our services.” What struck me was the first part; success being a great killer of dreams. While I never wish to put words in anyone’s mouth, especially Joe’s since he has become a trusted friend, I interpreted it to mean success was the actual accomplishing of the goal and once it’s completed, the desire to continue can be greatly diminished.
I admit it’s a rather loose interpretation but in some ways, it makes complete sense. By nature, humans are goal-oriented. If we have no purpose to get up in the morning, the day could be spent in bed or lying around the house. Accomplishment seems to be part of our DNA and when it’s fulfilled, the void is satiated with finding other objectives and ambitions. However, what if there were other motives behind why some are driven so fiercely to achieve?
The adrenaline rush which comes from conquering a challenging project is quite rewarding. Whether working with a team of likeminded people or as an individual, the littlest accomplishments provide an emotional stimulus that to put it plainly, just feels good.
Once the project is completed, some of those feelings can be replaced by a sense of loss or sadness. Although there may have been enormous successes and financial gain, the question now becomes how could all of this hard work, trust, and determination leave anyone sad and possibly even in despair? What will bring back those wonderful feelings?
The obvious answer is to begin another project but by examining the reasons for the sadness, it may uncover even more daunting and troubling motives.
It’s possible that when we accomplish something – whether it be individually or as a team, if the intention is to benefit others besides ourselves, there is a greater sense of purpose and satisfaction. If the reason for this hard work was for recognition, wealth, or power, it can ultimately lead to disappointment and frustration.
It’s rather ironic that while trying to achieve personal satisfaction, a major contributor to that is working to evoke those same feeling in others. While our efforts do induce positive emotions within us, seeing those same feelings in others arouses a deeper sense of purpose and accomplishment. When those efforts are solely intended for our benefit alone, it is bound to only have temporary satisfaction.
There are indeed lots of reasons why we strive for success, but when it is concentrated on benefiting humankind, it is certain to have a much greater impact; especially on our own lives.
Thanks to Gerald Martillana for the amazing picture. Find out more about him by clicking here. I look forward to your comments.