Time after time I experienced this strange phenomenon.
No matter how much I would accomplish, after a while I would always find a way to slip back into feeling like shit.
I could wake up on the most beautiful beach in the world with the most gorgeous woman on earth with piles of money in the bank and for some reason my head would whisper softly to me: “Life Sucks”.
It seemed to come out of nowhere and really screwed with my head:
- I’d get my life on track: Then I would feel lost.
- I’d hit record-setting profits: Then I would feel like a loser.
- I’d accomplish a goal: Then I would feel like my life was ruined.
Here’s what it looked like:
Each time I would make an accomplishment there was a period of short lived celebration and then I would hit a rut.
I knew that in reality, none of these negative things I was thinking were true. But for some reason I found myself falling into that same hole over and over again.
After going through this several times I finally figured it out. The problem almost always boiled down to one thing:
I felt like I had stopped making progress.
“To reach a port we must set sail –
Sail, not tie at anchor
Sail, not drift.”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt
The Key to Happiness is… Progress
I remember the day it clicked. It was late January a few years ago. I was digging around YouTube and came across a Tony Robbins video about New Years Resolutions. (It’s included below).
The video came out on January 15th, the day when according to Tony Robbins, most people abandon their New Years Resolutions each year. I had recently set my goals for the year so the topic was relevant for me, so being the Tony Robbins fan that I am, I watched it.
He started talking about New Years Resolutions as expected and then… Out of nowhere he said something that reached out and punched me in the face.
In that moment he solved my strange phenomenon forever.
*Watch 1:51 to 2:34 to see the part I’m taking about.
Quotes from the video:
“There’s no denying that inside of you the only thing that’s going to make you happy… is going to be having an experience where on a regular basis you feel like your life is making progress”
“Getting things is not going to make you happy… whether it be money or opportunity, all those things might excite you for the moment, but
[tweetable]the secret to real happiness is Progress[/tweetable]”
Goals Are Important, But So Is The Process
Without progress, nothing is possible.
- You can’t make a million dollars online without methodically launching, testing and optimizing campaigns.
- You can’t get into shape without going to the gym over and over adding more weight to your lifts over time.
- You can’t write a book instantly, you write it one page at a time
Accomplishment Won’t Make You Happy (For long)
And the thing is, once you progress all the way through accomplishing your goal, you have to set another goal and start progressing towards that to continue to feel happy, as his quote says: “having an experience where on a regular basis you feel like your life is making progress“.
Here’s what that looks like:
The things is that more often then not, all it takes for me to feel good is to feel like I’m progressing towards a goal. It can be big or small, far away or near by, I just have to be heading somewhere. It’s simple, powerful and doesn’t require immediate success to work.
Feeling Lost? Do this.
Take a minute and think about whether or not you are making progress at something, anything in your life. And if you can’t think of anything, be honest with yourself about it.
- If you’re making progress, feel good about it and keep it up.
- If you’re not making progress, set a solid goal today and start taking steps towards it.
Then let yourself feel the progress.
- Made a landing page faster today than you did last week? Progress.
- Learned a little more about how to count your calories. Progress.
- Wrote another 500 words for your book? Progress.
Accomplishing a goal feels good, but it can also take some time. So to keep yourself going remember: you can also feel good about the progress you make along the way.