I don’t want to sail in the boat, I just like building it

Harvard’s most famous positive psychology professor writes that our culture reinforces the delusional state of chasing the ever elusive future. 

That’s why people are not compensated for enjoying the journey itself, but for the successful completion of one. Because society rewards results and arrivals, not processes and journeys. 

And the problem is, once people arrive at their destination and attain their goal, they mistake the relief that they feel for happiness. 

But it’s just a hamster wheel. It’s just another yoke we put on ourselves. Like the glassy eyed patsy at the video arcade who keeps pumping coins into the machine, only to discover that he’s playing a game of infinite levels that can’t be beat. 

I was guilty of this delusional state until my mid thirties. And the conversation inside my head was always the same. 

This is going to change everything for me. Things are going to be different from now on. 

I gave my thoughts about the future far too much airtime. I overestimated how much better the results would make my life. I allowed expectation to sneak up on me and impoverish the present. And I let the incomparable thrill of the fantasy to completely take hold of me. 

Which fed my addiction in the moment, but ultimately threw me into despair when my expectations were not fully met in the future. 

Eventually, I grew tired of the hamster wheel. 

I realized that I didn’t want to sail in the boat, I just enjoyed building it. 

And so, I finally announced to myself that I was no longer in the results business. I relaxed my armor against the present moment. I forced myself to live life in a more present way. 

And with full abandonment and indulgence in the enoughness of right now, all the preoccupations of the daily world were put in limbo. 

And miraculously, joy followed like a shadow. 


Do you view the journey as merely a series of obstacles that have to be negotiated in order to get wherever it is that you want to become?


For the list called, “99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren’t One,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  



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