065 Why chasing almost never works

Chasing is great! And being able to chase things down is a really good trait to be acquired with in today’s world—and as it really always has been. To be clear: this is about our hunter-gatherer ancestors who had to hunt food everyday or rather “chase” food to survive. So, just like that, we need to chase down certain “things” if you like, and delay gratification to survive.

But.

It gets as simple as this: Chasing never works when you don’t enjoy the chase part of it. You may well even get what you were chasing after slogging for like hours turning into days and months but if you couldn’t find any satisfaction or sense of enjoyment in the process, it’s certain that the enjoyment of the outcome or your “achievement” won’t last. I’ve talked quite a lot about process vs. outcome on articles here on my blog, but this is such a subject which cannot be expressed enough.

Sure, we all want what we are chasing down. That’s exactly why we’re “chasing” it. To get it. And this chase can be very diverse from individual to individual. Ranging from finding the meaning of life or “attaining” happiness to being able to buy a new car or getting promoted at your job. It can be anything, really. But, what generally happens with many people is that they look at the goal, the outcome and the achievement with a higher, a much higher sense. And even though they just hate the process of reaching that goal, they pursue it with disgust only guided by the result of their “hard-work”.
And so consequently, all the love for the process, the moment, this moment, fades away.

And 4 things happen during this so-called chase which account to a dangerous feedback loop indeed. Here they are in order:

  1. Chase. You hate the chase. You just don’t like the way of working so hard to get promoted. It’s too much work. But you keep going because, well, you gotta get promoted.
  2. Achievement. You’ve done it. Somehow, all that slogging added up and now you’re promoted!
  3. Fade. You get the high rank, but it doesn’t feel like what you thought it would feel like. The pride and pleasure of the new promotion is starting to fade away.
  4. Dissatisfaction. All that momentary satisfaction of getting promoted has now vanished. And you’re again dissatisfied with your position. You want more.

And so you start the whole process again, chasing something else this time.
This isn’t just the case with promotions, rather this is universal for most chasing that occurs. And I’m not saying that dissatisfaction is bad. It’s actually great, I feel. You want to be having some sort of that hunger inside of you. But not at the cost of never getting even a sense of how far you’ve come.

These four steps lead to a continuous feedback cycle which never ends and thus the chase for something filled with disgust never ends.

This is why it’s wise to love the process and remember that the process always feels and is better than the result.

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