Whether it’s a promotion, losing weight, getting a new car, buying a home or finally finding the right partner—high achievers quickly move onto the next big thing.
Have you experienced hitting those milestones and noticing that the glow quickly fades and you’re back to square one? Why is it that we’re never satisfied with our accomplishments and instead spend our lives striving for what comes next?
The treadmill of never enough can be explained by understanding how our brain works and in particular the role of dopamine.
Dopamine is often called the pleasure molecule but Daniel Lieberman, author of The Molecule of More, explains that it’s more accurate to say that dopamine is an anticipation molecule.
It’s dopamine’s job to create a sense of motivation, excitement and anticipation that drives us to pursue and engage in activities that are associated with a particular reward.
It’s critical to understand that it’s the getting part that matters and that’s why many high achievers don’t have a finish line. Dopaminergic stimulation sets us up to want more.
Dopamine makes us want and go after things but it’s the ability to pull ourselves into the here and now that gives us the capacity to appreciate and enjoy our lives. Whatever your accomplishments, the quality of the journey has to be more important because most of life is the journey.
Lieberman says that we can easily get caught chasing a dopaminergic state if we don’t become aware of this pattern and consciously create what he calls “a here and now” state where we appreciate the journey.
This is the power of getting into the mental gym and using mindfulness. High performers harness the power of their attention to stop the treadmill. A big part of being able to enjoy the present is knowing how to prime yourself to feel grateful, appreciative and validate the progress of where you are right here right now.
If you’re struggling to create a mental gym routine that will improve the quality of your life, please reach out and book a complimentary 30 minute call.
Liane Wansbrough | High-Performance Coach