The thrill is (always) in the chase

One of the best kinds of thrill is defining, honoring, and achieving our goals.

Gina Greenlee

*I only ever feel most alive when I am striving towards a perceived attainable goal.

How do you feel when you finally have in possession the thing you sought after for such a long time? Is it pride? Happiness? Sadness? unworthiness? Fulfillment?

It’s a question I never really visited in my past. Not visited with all my undivided attention at least. I’d always think to myself; ‘once I have this device I’ll be happy’ or ‘once I’m with this person I’ve made it, I’m set.’ But each and every time I never truly felt the emotions I thought I would inherit from the acquired wish.

I was never asking myself the real questions in these pursuits of ‘happiness’. Questions such as;

  • If I finally get this software, will I actually make myself sit down and learn how to produce music?
  • If I finally let myself fall in love in a controlled manner rather than bombastically, can I be happy?
  • If I keep working on myself, will opportunities of more fulfilling relationships arise in my life?
  • If I keep running, will I eventually hit my goal? And what is the reason behind my need to do this?
  • If I keep reading, will that successful idea or life changing epiphany finally present itself?

What is my NEED to do any of these things? That is a good question isn’t it?

The need to do anything

The end game emotions might not have ever been truly apparent in all of my life’s pursuits so far. But one thing is very clear…The thrill has always been in the chase for me!

No matter the turbulent feelings that have come with acquiring such wants, I’ve always been somewhat of a hustler in those times where I feel there’s a chance. An outcome just around the corner if I persist that little bit longer. But then the time comes when the goal has been reached and I can’t deny the feelings that usually follow…

Happiness initially, followed very quickly by contentment. Before long unfulfillment with a sense of unworthiness set in. These feelings then steer me from my successes of my triumphs.

What is it then? What is it I seek if every time, no matter the object, status or person, that I never feel fulfillment? Perhaps the lack of living in each and every moment along the way. I know that just like watching a beautifully orchestrated film for the first time, I thoroughly love each and every moment and know that I will never see each of those moments for the first time ever again. Uncannily, that is what life is.

So with practicing living in each moment a little more often in the recent years of my life, I feel fulfillment in the sense that, at each and every given moment I can choose to step outside myself and appreciate these moments that unfold before me. Embrace the person before me and try not to let other thoughts take precedence than responding to the very words that are being spoken in the here and now.

But the significant question remains. What is my NEED to do any of these things?

Is the need to pursue any of these lifestyles to become a different person? To become truly masterful in a particular area? I suppose it is both. To be masterful in a particular trait would surely be a euphoric feeling. Perhaps not euphoric as it will soon become apparent that once masterful forever masterful. And once you become masterful you will soon identify with this notion as you would your ability to drive your car, it becomes something you just do, something your are. At least, that is what I would imagine the feeling to be.

We are what we repeatedly do.

And this brings me to the idea that I identify with the most. I much rather the chase of a desired trait than what the outcome of mastering said trait might bring. And I don’t mean to say that I am forever hustling towards an end goal. I will self sabotage almost every time I’ve had a small win. Never intentionally, always subconsciously taking that step back. Getting too close to success is a horrifying notion after all. But why?

Well, because everything you’ve acquired in the past has never fulfilled you. You know the empty feeling that comes with finishing. You know that nothing changes, time rolls on and you grow older all the same. You also love the feeling of grinding out the similar route because it’s time spent in anger. Anger at yourself for who you are and where you are at. You know that you are capable of so much more and that THIS time you will go another level because you have had enough of mediocrity. This, this is what it feels to be alive you may tell yourself.

That burn of mediocrity is only truly felt when you let yourself slide for months on end. It is only truly felt when you know how much closer you were to something previously but decided to let it slip subtly day by day. Enough for it to not matter on any given day, but enough for it to dwindle all the same as you built yourself each and every day before.

A rat on a wheel, to be cliche. But there is no denying that that is the very attitude you derive from the highs, lows and the purgatory of the two, isn’t it?

So the thrill is always in the chase.

It takes a special type of human to be able to constantly perform at the highest level in their field year in year out. Knowing that 1 accolade is not enough if they are still able of more. That 15 years on the top is not enough if they are capable of even one more day.

One day, you will get out of that purgatory if you allow the thrill to evolve out of the chase and into the outcome, the fruit that the pursuit may bare. For it is not laziness that holds you back from taking those next steps, no. It is not laziness because you always feel that regret of not taking that action. It is fear. Fear of reaching that goal and possibly feeling that unfulfillment again.

So here lies the final question; Is what you NEED to do greater than the fear of not doing anything at all?

I’m getting close to hurting so much if I don’t do what I need to do. And the hurt is almost indescribable, almost. In this, my self awareness will be my progression. My fear of not doing anything is beginning to outweigh my fear of finding out what is on the other side.

Nick Donnellan

Self awareness is progression


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