I accomplished a lot in 2015 and got a lot of what I wanted. It felt really good–for a minute.
Then I felt the inevitable crash that comes after effort spent, leaving me with post-Christmas pine needles to sweep up, trash to be stuffed into overflowing bins, and bills to be paid.
The problem is, everything is impermanent, including positive feelings about accomplishments. This can be understood through a physiological filter: we get a little hit of endorphins, which gives us a high, every time something we think is good happens.
Like drinking, making love, going shopping, or any other experience, the positive emotions associated with the activity last only so long and then we want–or crave–more.
Feeling good becomes chasing experiences and their resulting feelings in order to avoid other feelings, such as the reality that we are born, we struggle to stay alive, and then we die.
We are animals. Our basic purpose is to survive, which we will fail to do. That’s it.
As humans, we have an added burden that we can reflect on our aliveness, and see it for what it is. What is it? Nothing.
We hit home runs, fall in love, invent Facebook, and try to get through day with grace only to press repeat.
We can elevate this.
Try augmenting your efforts with observation.
Go slow. Use all your senses, minute-by-minute, second-by-second, to sense yourself and the world around you.
The only way out is in.