Pursue or perform. Settle or chase. Two styles to adopt upon your being a performer or perfectionist in a Life, that’s been hijacked by third parties. Agents of roundabout ways have taken access to our run after things eating up our time, efforts, and will diverting us elsewhere from the real thing. Our enthusiasm has turned against us being itself diminished by bits. After all we are short on our time, efforts, and will against a World full of good things. Why can’t we just work on our lives?
Settling down has become uncool, and you better look like you are after something big. Even though you have made it.
From when settling down has become looked down upon? Never settle people say. Never stop achieving people say. (People will say all sorts of things to keep you from appreciating what you already have). Chasing things has become so habituated with us that if we don’t pursue something all the time, we look bad, and we become somewhat sick.
You gather enough cash to finally make your dream purchase you always have wanted, but you really don’t pay much attention over the thing once you get it. Because as soon as you have got your hands upon the thing, you start eying for the next stuff. (Looks like the purchase was the goal itself ended up with it).
You pursue for years to enter into your dream school, but you neglect the life there once you get inside. Because as soon as you have got enrolled, you start making up plans and errands for the next stage. (Same thing again. Getting admitted was the whole issue ended up with it).
Chase for years the mate you like, but once you two are together, you don’t work much on your nuptial life. Because as soon as you have caught hold of your ‘Plus One’, you seek out yet another ‘Golden Snitch’ to catch. (You have got a sickness of pursuing things).
In the frenzied heat of pursuing, chasing, and running after things, we have forgotten the art of performing in life. As pursuing things and working on life are two separate concerns requiring different sets of mind, neither has anything to do with the other. So you can run or work. You cannot do both.
There is an inherent holding back in our mindset against simply minding our lives, and we can do nothing about it.
Buying cool things is difficult enough to entertain the idea of using them. Contradictorily if you ruminate upon using them beforehand, you probably won’t be left with drive enough to buy cool things in the first place.
Getting into good schools has become much labor that leaves us with no space to prepare for the life and work thereafter. Again, if you imagine a lot about your perfect life in that school, you might not get the ticket.
And catching hold of the most sought after person is a war itself leaving little to nothing to make our mind about the life and work afterwards. Needless to say, people fancy being together seldom be so in real life. Looks like, pursuing must be somewhat blind, for only the unknown will incite our desire.
The problem with chasing things is, it becomes a habit. We keep on pursuing even when we don’t need to.
It’s really sport running after things. We become used to with the thrill of the hunt followed by the pleasure of achieving the ‘unknown’ provided by the mischievous chemical ‘dopamine’. So after all the deliberate planning, endless errands, and a successful hunt, when we really achieve our desired thing, dopamine falls, we become bored. (Remember the immediate turn offs after achievements)
From primitive times virtually nothing could have been procured without paying sufficient pain in it. Chasing was necessary for prey, resources, and mates. It’s a genetic information as old as us humans we still carry on that has become a deadweight now in this affluent modern days, sometimes detrimental, inviting disordered frenzy into our space fueled by the primal hunter gatherer instinct keeping us on our tiptoes 24/7 without a valid reason holding us back from just working on our lives in peace. Now there are infinite things to pursue, so settling down feels like death. Tolstoy’s peasant died running after lands. Modern day peasants are destined to die anyway. Either by the inertia of settling down, or by the exhaustive running after elusive fantasy.
Good things require work to achieve, therefore what we obtain without work does not seem to be good enough, which is of course absurd, for the value of things does not necessarily depend upon the effort we put in it. Its illusion of control fired up with sunk cost fallacy compels us to deem something valuable if we put our time, effort, and work into it. (Or do we deliberately put some pain into simple matters to make them look worthy?). Elizabeth troubled herself with similar issues in Pride and Prejudice. More she researches about Mr. Darcy putting her time, efforts, and will into it, more she deems the gentleman valuable, turning an obnoxious snob into a misunderstood sweetheart (only in her mind).
The act of hunting down things and the practice of simply working upon things come with different reward systems in our brains. As we become accustomed with the thrill of chasing the unknown, all falters suddenly when we actually obtain the matter of pursuance. We get frustrated at the sudden change of the scenario. Now we will have to start performing, of which we have not been practiced, nor we thought about, and we have no idea. It’s easier to start pursuing something again in what we are accustomed with, to save ourselves from getting knocked by boredom. Humans are after all natural ease prone, and it’s easier to freefall into habitualness than to learn.
Irregular students are those who have been disheartened at the sudden change of settings after their relentless pursuance of the enrolment. Admission struggles and the subsequent student lives are way two different affairs having nothing common to each other. (Newly admitted students know one thing good– how to get admitted into schools, and little to none about the ensuing school life). So the frustrated students keep on running after something else to which they have been accustomed to– ‘running after something’, until they really start appreciating their school life. By then it might be the end of years.
Job dissatisfaction comes from the change of scenario in the workplace to the lifelong preparation it needed to get there. Then the disappointed workers tend to find something else to continue the flow, the habitual feel of pursuing the unknown prize (little else do they know). Like finding another work or starting a business until they gradually move on from chasing mode towards performing mode. By then it might be late losing opportunities only for their lack of correct mindset.
Restive spouses are the ones who had to chase for years their mate. Now the thrill of chase is gone, mystery vanished, as the unknown is now known to the point of daily drudgery, but the habit of chasing remains still there. Because s/he spent years if not a decade to master ‘pursue and win a mate’ against zero time preparing for the life thereafter. Now s/he automatically starts looking elsewhere for a new chase. (Can’t be much hopeful for the Bennet-Darcy couple).
There is a roundabout way to do things that has infected all sorts of pursuits hijacking our time, efforts, and willpower leaving us frustrated in the end maxing us out of enthusiasm.
You want to do physical training, so you generally take some via to get there. You read workout magazines, watch exercise videos, and you hang out with body builders. Finally you become an expert in workout literature and visual guidance, and you become a social butterfly within the gym community. What’s up with the initial point of your physical training? Lost in details, that’s been forgotten. Or you have got fed up, as you are wondering how getting in shape is so much work, and it’s not for you. (In truth the ‘via’ eaten up your zeal).
Take another situation, you want to do some nature sightseeing. So you take some via to get there. You make contact with your travel agency, book tickets, reserve rentals and rides, fly without trouble, and you reach the spot. In the meantime many other to-dos appear into your busy schedule. Now what’s with the initial point of sightseeing? Lost in details, it has become irrelevant by now. (You’ve been duped into taking roundabout ways from a simple event. You became better in arranging travels though).
Similar courses go on in receiving education, getting hired, making friends, starting a family, even purchasing stuff. Extra conversation, prolonged commutes, subsidiary courses, escalated dramas, hidden costs, extended screening, and lots of unnecessary details come stand in between. Any incaution leads to seemingly endless hassles on the way of achieving even minor things. Time wasted can be made up by extra work. Money lost might be overcome by making more. Once you lose your willpower, you are done for good. You will give up by yourself. Nobody else will have to do it for you.
Spend a lot of time, effort, and work into something, then even mundane things will seem so expensive and valuable. It’s getting increasingly difficult to logically judge the value of things. You either pay more or less. There’s no more correct price. Get it for free, it will taste like vegetable. Make a fuss for the same thing, it will be your treasure. (Make double fuss, and it will start tasting bitter). Pay more than it costs, you will be unable to accept it. Pay less than it costs, you yourself will not accept it. You can’t win.
You take years to prepare for an interview. Study burning the midnight oil. Pay tuition for mentorship. Then you pass the interview only to discover, the other applicants just showed up on the interview day out of the blue, casually attended the tests, and somehow they got themselves in. Now you and your lucky mates will evaluate the Institute in different ways. To you the Institute has become a part of you. It’s your life achievement, your identity. To your mates– “meh, not good enough! What am I doing here! Had a better deal with xyz! Bla bla”. (They might laugh at you looking so serious). Then you become doubtful about your new achievement.
Chaos. Paying more than something is worth is of course painful to the degree of physical paralysis that can only be overcome should you let your achievement go. (Yes, you are going to leave it). Or you may adopt your colleagues’ technique. You casually appear in places. If you win, muy fantastico! If you fail, no issue. You didn’t put any pain into it anyway. Its win win. (But you must not entertain choice, and there will always be some unease in your mind. “Not good enough. What am I doing here! Had a better deal with xyz! Bla bla”. It won’t let you appreciate the life there too). You can’t win.
Now, our own mindset has gone against us in its illogical pursuits of matters finally collaborating with the agents of roundabout ways added up with people’s whims becoming a detrimental actor jeopardizing any life we had left. Solving this error will be tricky rewriting our mindset risking looking uncool.
Building a flawless value system might be the key. So we can recognize the inherent nature of matters, and what exactly should we expect out of them. Then we can evaluate precisely how much to pay for things, also we can embrace good things we get for free. Consciously reducing ‘via’ will then become easy to finally take more direct approaches to events and life affairs.
People wanting to be a student, they should become one, rather than mastering enrolment procedures. People that want to earn a living, they have to do it instead of doing something else. Anybody wanting to start a family, they should begin it right away than chasing years long and becoming a dating expert. Nature lovers can of course sightsee as much as they want than paying attention to anything unnatural.
More the delay, more the distraction, more the frustration. More the choice, more the option, more the confusion. It is always the quality of performance that glorifies life. Suffering by roundabout ways is definitely not a smart move, as we have a lot of other things to do. After all we are short on our time, efforts, and will against a World full of good things. We must keep count.