The Downside of Striving

by | Feb 1, 2024 | Blog | 0 comments

For the majority of my life, I followed a simple principle: Effort (lots of it) = Achievement = Happiness/Satisfaction.

Initially, it works. The harder you work, the more you achieve, and every achievement delivers a sense of happiness/satisfaction.

However, as most overachievers realize, there is a downside.

The feelings of happiness are fleeting. And, as time goes on you need bigger and bigger achievements to feel any satisfaction at all.

While I understand this truth, the old, well-grooved neural pathway in my brain has yet to embrace the message. As a result, I’m still hardwired to throw more effort into everything I do.

Sound familiar?

The good news is that recognizing the issue is the first step in solving the problem.

Now, it’s time to change our hardwiring and build some new pathways in our overachieving brains.

Here’s an idea to get started: Sometime in the coming weeks, clear your calendar in the afternoon and do… nothing.


Don’t tell anyone about it. Resist the urge to set a bunch of goals.

Just be.

CJ McClanahan

Speaker | Advisor | Recovering Overachiever




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