Why do we lose interest when we reach a goal?

Why do we lose interest when we reach a goal?

People are so arranged that we too quickly get used to the good and the same thing that already exists, and we always want something that actually does not exist. But why is this happening?

The mental mechanism underlying this “quirk” is quite simple:

The process of habituation is a natural biological function of humans. We get used to everything, the good and even the bad. If something is constant, it ceases to be interesting for the instinct of self-preservation, which determines our behavior.

By the same mechanism, we quickly become accustomed to successes that previously seemed unattainable. By the same mechanism, we become accustomed to the goods that we form. And after we get used to it, neither this success nor these benefits please us anymore, we want something more, which we don’t have yet. So it turns out that we will always have not enough, always not enough…

We always want more than we have

In other words, we are in a state of chronic lack of money, lack of attention from people, lack of things. That is, we live with the feeling that we regularly lack something. But how far does this feeling correlate with the truth?

On the other hand, is it possible for us to be satiated, to have all of our needs met, and then, at some point, to be completely satisfied and not want anything more, and forever? Well, of course it’s impossible. Consequently, we will constantly experience a feeling of dissatisfaction, no matter how well we live. And that’s a shame, to say the least! What’s the point of it all, if it doesn’t get us where we want to go anyway!

Why do we lose interest when we reach a goal?

If all is well at work, it means it’s time to find problems at home. If all is well at home, it means it’s time to deal with our health. If our health is okay, then we need to find ourselves. If we cannot find ourselves, then we do not see the meaning of life.

Most people are arranged in such a way that they are not want to seeing the average, are not want seeing the good, but the small, because they are bored and not interested in it.

I’m fine – that’s not enough! Where is it bad? But here it is bad (for example, I am not handsome enough, rich and popular). Well, this is a matter for the future. This is an event with which we must occupy ourselves, direct and spend our strength, and fight to get better!

So it turns out that we are constantly fighting with something in life: now with excess weight, now with a lack of money, now with our appearance, now with employees, now with parents, children and spouses, then (which is really serious problem) – with themselves.

The trouble is that we are simply does not know the word “enough”. You will never have enough, no matter what you achieve, you will never have enough! At some point, of course, you may think that everything you want has been achieved, but even that moment will not last long.

Let’s take an example: What would you do if you were lucky enough to win the lottery and you got a fabulous sum of money, like $100 million? Do you think you’ll be happy and you’ll calm down? No, in fact you will meet your current needs, maybe buy a couple of houses and cars, but after a while it will not be enough and you want another 100 million, and then another and another.

Why do we lose interest when we reach a goal?

We are accustomed to being rewarded for what we do

Ever since we were children, books have taught us that there is always a reward waiting for the hero at the end of the road. And we used to think that when the wish that we had dreamed of for so long comes true, or an important project that we have been working on for so long comes to an end, in addition to money we will receive comprehensive reward, acknowledgement and happiness. But why do we all think it’s guaranteed to happen?

In fact, it very often happens in our lives that there are no prizes in achieving goals. Yes, you can get money for your efforts, labor, and time. And that’s all. There are no more prizes! And then comes the disappointment.

Why does this happen? There are several opinions.

Chemists and biologists think dopamine is to blame. This neurotransmitter makes us anticipate pleasure, even if only the vague promise of something good and pleasant looms before us. Dopamine is released in the brain when we have achieved what we wanted or are just enjoying ourselves. Dopamine helps us tremendously to move toward our goals and to finish long-term projects. But when it finally comes true and the work is done, there is nothing to look forward to, and the dopamine is no longer released. In the absence of this dopamine, we feel confused and disappointed.

The second reason for disappointment in achieving goals also lies in the realm of physiology – once we achieve a difficult goal, we simply run out of energy. We go to the result for a long time, put a lot of time and energy into the work, stay as concentrated as possible, not allowing ourselves to relax. And when we have come a long way and the result is achieved, we finally “let go” of ourselves, and the accumulated fatigue comes over us.

Psychologists note that sometimes people fall into the so-called “achievement trap”. It is a kind of cognitive distortion that makes us think that a dream fulfilled necessarily brings happiness. We tend to greatly overestimate the emotions we should experience after a joyful event. And then, when nothing like that happens, of course, we feel somewhat devastated and deceived.

Finally, we should not forget that when we achieve something that we wanted so intensely, we are temporarily left without a goal. It seems as if one important stage is over, a checkmark is placed next to the goal that helped us move forward for a long time, and life temporarily loses its meaning. So now it’s back to navigating where to go, making plans and starting the hard work. This is somewhat discouraging.

Why do we lose interest when we reach a goal?

Pursuit of goals as an illusion of happiness

Another common reason people are disappointed in the goals they achieve is the misconception of what they will actually get. More often than not, we chase after goals in pursuit of happiness. In fact, however, these goals don’t lead us to happiness. It is a mistake; it is an illusion. It’s a run in a circle, a run for happiness, a chimera that doesn’t exist.

It looks pessimistic, but there has to be a way out, right? And there is, and it’s one – forget about the fact that money will make you happy and don’t look for happiness where it doesn’t exist. That is, get rid of the illusion of happiness, which are imposed on us on television and the online media.

All advertising is built on the idea of showing a person that he is inperfect, dissatisfied, and therefore unhappy. Therefore, in order to become happy, a person must buy what he does not have.

Subsequently, having made a purchase, a person discovers that he has not become happier, this is only an illusion. Why is this happening? When you strive for other people’s goals, you cling to the illusion, to the point in front, while closing your eyes to what is next to you. Meanwhile, happiness is possible at this very moment next to you, and without receiving proper attention, it eludes you.

This is why you should live for today and not put things off until tomorrow. This is why you should have your own goals and not just follow someone else’s. That’s why you should look for happiness within yourself and around you, and not feed on other people’s illusions imposed by advertising.

Why do we lose interest when we reach a goal?

What to do to avoid the frustration of achieving goals?

Here are some recommendations from psychologists.

Try to keep expectations realistic

More often than not, a goal or a dream that comes true is just a milestone on a big road. This is not the point after which endless happiness and pleasure will necessarily come and you can rest on your laurels, enjoying the results. This is an important milestone worth celebrating, but it is far from over. It’s going to be harder and more dangerous, but it’s also going to be more interesting.

That’s how you should treat your achievements, as a part of the journey. It is as if you have a long flight with many connections, you have already overcome part of the journey and now are resting in another transit airport.

Work on several projects at once

If you will have many goals, then having achieved one, you will not get confused and switch to another. This can be not only work, but also creativity, hobbies, sports, charity, family business.

Say you have won an important professional award and, until you form a new work goal for yourself, you can learn to read French literature in the original or practice sitting on the transverse twine.

Plan ahead

No one prevents you from setting a new goal and outlining a trajectory while the old one has yet to be achieved. This way you’ll have more enthusiasm and motivation, and less space for despondency.

Take a break

It’s worth accepting the situation: yes, having achieved something important, you experience disappointment, devastation and loss of strength – it’s normal. And such a period of decline can be used to replenish energy, reflect on your feelings, try new things, and figure out what you want to do next.


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