Goal, activity, disappointment

I thought it would be different.

I’ve got a study with all my books and notecards and a whiteboard. I have a space to practise jiu-jitsu and train. I’m sleeping better and eating better. I’ve got time and space for quiet and stillness. 

But it’s still hard. I still find it difficult. It’s still a challenge to write. To do the work. To analyse and monitor my own behaviour and make modifications. It’s still tricky to balance my priorities and decide how to allocate my time and energy

People like James Altucher and Scott Adams say that goals are dangerous for precisely this reason. You desire something and move mountains to get it. But once you get it, you realise it’s not 1) what you wanted, and/or 2) as significant a change as you believed it would be. So you end up in this spiral of activity and disappointment. Breaking that spiral is hard. It requires a reorientation of your entire mental machinery. 

We’re bred to seek something, to have a goal, to have a object to strive for. For example, in school, we spend years studying to pass GCSEs. Then a couple years preparing for A-Level exams. Then several years working for a degree. And once we have a degree, we aim for a job, or a promotion or an arbitrary amount of wealth.

We seek something. But then, we get it and it doesn’t satisfy our expectations so we chase something else. Repeat till dead.

Is that the way to live? To spend our existence seeking something we don’t yet have. Something that won’t actually soothe the aches we’re trying to heal. What if we didn’t do that? What if, after the first few times through the cycle of goal-activity-disappointment we opted out? How about we choose to do the best with what we have, and stop thinking that we need something more? That something we don’t have can make us feel better and more important