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Striving often leads to sadness

August 3, 2020

Are you a high achiever, do you feel better about yourself if you are constantly working on something, or producing something, or building towards something?

Striving – achieving, working towards a goal.

This is okay on its own, it’s not the problem. It’s what we team striving with that causes dysfunction.

We often team striving with a feeling of dissatisfaction. We are not happy until we reach that goal. Until we have that thing. We place our joy on a future event.

The problem is, the future doesn’t exist. And for a striver, the goal post is always changing!

So, we never feel satisfied.

We stop living – if living is being present, right now in this moment – then we as strivers are never here. Strivers are often living most of their life in the ILLUSIVE FUTURE. And I say illusive because the future is an illusion. This is the same thing that causes a state called ANXIETY – you can check out my past video on this topic.

A high achiever or perfectionist is often living in this fantasy world of the future.

Remember, the future is an illusion because it is not real, just like the past is an illusion because we fabricate about 50% of the details. The only reality is right NOW.

So, someone living in this way, always striving for something in the future, which doesn’t exist, often feels DISSATISFACTION. It makes sense. They don’t have what they want, and they are left always wanting, but not having…yet…but yet never comes.

But strivers can still have their cake and eat it too.

The missing element to make it all worthwhile is something called APPRECIATION or GRATITUDE. If you skip this step in your striving, you will not be living – and there is often a real absence of joy. Sadness tends to move in.

So how do we get from striving to sadness? Simply keep up the striving without stopping to smell the roses and celebrate the moments along the way.

STRIVING without APPRECIATION or GRATITUDE creates DISSATISFACTION which leads to SADNESS.

Matt KAHN

So how do we add APPRECIATION and GRATITUDE back in?

First, stop, breath, get yourself into a state of calm, away from the fight, flight or freeze stress responses, then put your hand on your heart (known as an anchor in NLP – where you link an emotion to a motion) and simply say, THANK YOU. Bend down and smell the rose bush you planted which is blossoming as you achieve.

If you are someone who strives, do this EVERYDAY.

Appreciation and gratitude are the key elements that we have forgotten. Add them back into the recipe and watch your sadness turn into joy and celebration again. Life is not all about something you achieve in the future. It is happening right NOW. Something we as children once knew how to do. You can relearn this sacred skill.

So, practice a bit of gratitude and appreciation for what you have right NOW every day.

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