How to Become a Happier Achiever

How to Become a Happier Achiever

There’s no doubt that achievement and accomplishment can contribute to happiness.

It feels good to get stuff done!

But there’s also no doubt that on it’s own, it doesn’t always work. That is, many of us get stuck in an endless cycle of needing to achieve more and more which can, in some instances, actually make us UNhappier.

So what’s the answer?

Well, check out this Psychology Today article by Sabrina Romanoff

The perpetual drive to succeed has a dark side as the relentless pursuit for success can become a liability when it results in an identity that is encapsulated by achievement to the detriment of all other values.

Motivation to achieve is typically fueled by the goal to finally feel like one is “enough,” to be fulfilled, and content. But high achievers rarely stop to take inventory on how this strategy leaves them running on a hamster wheel, constantly fleeing from feelings of inadequacy and toward fulfillment that is always just out of reach. They believe if they run faster, they will finally reach the goal post. The irony is: They’re sprinting towards a moving target, making it feel like they’re always running in place.

Is Achievement a Solution for Discontentment?

Factors in the environment usually initiate early momentum of the hamster wheel. Outside influences get internalized in early life, including the fusion of accomplishments with personal worth. From being praised or acknowledged by caregivers for achievement in childhood to the social norm of introducing oneself along with your profession — a lifetime of reinforcement lays the foundation for how worth, accomplishments, and identity are melded. Although a certain level of internalization of the values of our goal-oriented society is adaptive, they often become rigidly held and counterproductive.

Another important factor people overlook is hedonistic adaptation — which is the tendency to adapt to the positive emotions that result from an accomplishment. Once the thrill of achieving a goal dissipates, there is usually a return to baseline levels of discontentedness.

Many high achievers use social comparison to appraise their level of success. They use the yardstick of how others are performing to determine their own relative worth. This often leads to the pursuit of salaries, positions, titles, and other symbols of status to attain external recognition or validation.

However, they often overlook the process of attaining these goals when their sight is singularly fixed on the finish line. They miss out on important dimensions of the experience itself, including: ancillary learning, personal growth, and building connections and relationships inherent in the journey towards the goal, which are important sources of more stable fulfillment…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE