For as long as I’ve been aware of myself, metaphysically speaking, I’ve been conscious of the existence a fear-influenced duality of thought in my mind, which is responsible for my paralysis when attempting to move forward with goals. It causes me to think so much about my next steps that I develop a mild headache and desire nothing more than to lie down, go to sleep, and wake up hoping that the fear has moved on. It is so paralyzing that I devolve from the determined, confident person that I have become back into the apprehensive, insecure person that I was. This is more than fear of failure, though.
I could move forward if I were simply afraid that I might fail. I am no longer worried about fulfilling the dreams of others, or disappointing the people who had so much hope for me. Now, the realization that my life is based on my successes is my motivation to persevere. If I do not pursue my dreams with the ferocity of a predator on its prey, I will not succeed. My happiness is directly linked to my success. It is a causal loop that has been set to iterate ad infinitum. I have to succeed, and, yet, I’m scared. What happens if I do get the job? I’m going to be partly, if even on the smallest of scales, responsible for the success of an entire brand. If I do well, I’ll get even more responsibility. Can I keep producing good work? I don’t want to be a one-hit wonder in my own life.
When there is nothing to inspire you to get motivated, where do you look? Some people say “haters” inspire them to succeed. These are the people whose life goal it is to bring you down to their level or lower because they don’t think you deserve your success. Still others are motivated by the prospect of succeeding. I want to meet these people and ask them, “Why aren’t you afraid that once you do well, you’ll have to keep doing well?” No one can predict the future. They cannot know that they will continue to thrive in their chosen profession. When you do things well, people rarely notice. Break that pattern, though, and it’s all they can talk about. The only way to prevent negative attention is to keep succeeding, but that develops into perfectionism. If perfection and success cannot be guaranteed from every attempt, why try? Avoiding success equals less expectation. Less expectation equals less pressure to do well. The decrease in pressure results in less tension and headache, which leads to happiness, right? Wrong. It leads to mediocrity.
The pursuit of happiness cannot occur on the road of mediocrity. The road may be paved with a zero incline but reaching happiness more quickly will not give you greater satisfaction. Further, the happiness you reach is likely an illusion because mediocrity seeks just enough of everything. If you desire all the happiness you want from life, you must run around potholes, climb steeply-inclining paths, and beat back a few branches.
How are you going to find the happiness you seek if you don’t get on the right road?