From graduating college to having the right number of kids, most of us are constantly chasing something, something that we hope will make us completely happy. It’s very common that we find ourselves saying, “I’ll be happy when…”
But, unfortunately, the question, “Is this it?” is just as common among those of us who have realized our wildest dreams. Many of us keep feeling empty even after reaching the goals that we thought would bring us eternal happiness.
There are, however, the few musicians, athletes, business men and the likes who keep doing what they love excellently despite blinding success and devastating failure. They seem to have no stopping point; no goal that would indicate “It’s finally time to sit back and enjoy the memory of accomplishment,” and no failure to tell them, “You’re not good enough so stop what you’re doing.” Somehow they seems love what they do more than they love winning or losing. It almost seems as if they love what they do more than they love themselves.
They have fallen in love with running the race and they care nothing about reaching the finish line. They’re in love with the very act of climbing the mountain, not reaching the top. They love what they do and not the rewards it can give them.
There is something freeing about this kind of attitude. First, none of us are guaranteed to live to see tomorrow. So we’re not guranteed to live to see our goals accomplished. But if you love the very act of pursuing your goals, the climb, then you’ve already received your reward and whether or not you live to see your goal fulfilled is unimportant. You’re already happy.
And then also, you should remember that if you do reach your goal and it makes you as happy as you expected, than happiness will only be temporary. It will wear away after a while. On the other hand, you spend more time pursuing your goal than enjoying the excitement of having accomplished it. So if you learn to find happiness in the pursuit, your happiness lasts longer.
So then, how do you learn to love the climb?
Those who love the climb seem to know that it’s bigger than them. If you are to fall in love with pursuing something, and to forget about success or failure, then it may help to know that you’re serving something bigger than yourself by doing what you do. Whatever you find yourself doing, remind yourself of how you’re serving your family, your company, your city or even humanity in general with your acts. You’re always connected to something bigger than you. And whatever you do, whether it’s music, science or housekeeping, serves to benefit the bigger circle that you’re connected to.
It may also help to realize that the climb is what makes us better versions of ourselves. It’s in the pursuit of our goal than we change as people. It’s in the pursuit that we discover and learn about ourselves, about other people and about life. And if you realize there is more to be discovered and enjoyed in the pursuit of your goals than in the fulfillment of them, you may just fall in love with the climb.
And as always, cheers to life!