Some time ago I had a consultation with a prospect.
It went like this:
Prospect: “I want to feel amazing all the time.”
Me: “Are you sure that this is what you want?”
Me: “Ok, let’s do a health check on it…”
Of course, we think we want to feel great, amazing, ecstatic, accomplished (you pick your own high) as much as and as often as possible, ideally all the time. But it’s exactly this expectation that makes us feel miserable because we don’t feel amazing all the time.
You cannot, you will not, and do not even want to feel amazing all the time, you’d get sick of it.
The way society is these days makes us think we should be feeling constant climaxes and peak experiences. Why wouldn’t you, right? Seems like others are. See their Facebook and Instagram and what they say.
Well, don’t forget people typically broadcast the best parts of their lives, especially on social media. Photos of holidays, new cars, new houses, amazing this and amazing that. In the big picture, be grateful for that. Better than if everyone were complaining.
But also understand that these are the highlights of their life (often exaggerated for an ego stroke; we all have been there). Everyone is trying to market themselves in the best light possible, and that’s understandable. We want to look good – but just take it with a pinch of salt. Think about it as a movie trailer. They always show the best seconds from the movie, the mind-blowing effects, explosions, actions, to make you go WOW, suck you into watching the whole movie because it must be so amazing. You don’t expect the whole movie to be that way though, do you? This is the same. Even the happiest people you know don’t always feel amazing.
I’m a life coach, and I work on being on top of my stuff and mood every day, and yet I had a pretty crap “leave me alone” kind of day yesterday. But I know these days come now and then (especially if you run your own business), and I embrace them.
Why? Because of days like this, I feel amazing.
Feeling amazing is a peak experience.
Think about it: PEAK experience!
Have you ever gone hiking climbing?
If you have, you know it’s the whole process that makes it a great experience. Don’t believe me? How satisfying would it actually be to just be dropped off by a helicopter on the top, have a look and fly back down? Going from the base of the mountain, climbing little by little to the top, sometimes for hours or even days, leading to the sweet moments on the top. It’s the contrast that makes it amazing. It’s the difference between the high and low.
Wanting to feel amazing all the time would be like wanting to be on the top all the time. It would mean no valleys, no lows.
How does it feel? It’s anything but exciting. It’s a flat line. If you don’t have lows, you don’t have highs.
An old friend of mine used to tell me a story about how there was a time in his life when he had it all. He had money, cars, girls, position, everything he wanted. Life couldn’t have been easier for him. It seemed like he was at the peak all the time, and so it reached the point when he looked up one day and said: “God, universe, please hit me or do something because I’m tired of everything going so well.” He got what he asked for. He got an opportunity to climb, reach the peak again, and experience the high again.
The truth is that these peak experiences are and should be just a seasoning of life. It doesn’t mean that all the other times you’re supposed to feel miserable or depressed. Not at all. Most of your life you actually feel fine. If you feel mostly low or depressed, then you should speak to a professional. But expecting to feel amazing all the time will backfire by you feeling crap because you won’t actually feel amazing all the time.
When you are at your peak, enjoy it, experience it, savour it, because it shall pass. There will be a new low whether it’s because life knocked you down, or because you create it by finding another “mountain to climb.”
Remember, it’s the lows that make you appreciate the highs.
Previously published here and reprinted with the author’s permission.
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