Are you guilty of always chasing the next ‘big score’? I think most of us know what I’m talking about. You’re always chasing after the pot of gold that is going to be at the next bigger & better thing you do. Except it’s never there. You usually don’t get what you think you will.Do you spend a lot of time chasing the next big deal, the next big success? Some people call it the Big Score. You probably know exactly what I’m talking about when I say ‘Big Score’ because most of the movies these days are about some big score – some big challenge.
In real life, as opposed to movies, many of us are always chasing the next big score, but in reality most of us don’t catch it. I spent years as a financial trader, working ridiculous hours and, admittedly, making ridiculous money. But I was always living in the future. It was always going to be different and better. I was always going to get what I wanted when I got “there.”
But when I got there,the pot of gold was gone. Either I didn’t get what I expected, or what I got was not enough (most of the time this was the case) and I needed to pursue the next big score.
This kind of behavior can feed on itself. You start getting a real thrill out of the chase, and thriving on the chaos that comes with it. You convince yourself that you’re going to make the next big score, just that next one, and sometimes you get a little hoodwinked about what’s actually going on.
In fact, I think the words “sometimes” and “a little deluded” are vast understatements; we tend to delude ourselves, when we’re hooked on over-achievement and chasing that next big deal. We think we’re being reasonable and sane and that we’re just not having the luck we’re entitled to.
From my own experience and the experiences of a lot of people I’ve worked with and talked to, I think that it’s not our luck that’s keeping us from getting that big deal. I think maybe we’re actually somehow keeping ourselves from being as truly successful as we want to be, because we’re so captivated by the chase that without even realizing it, we’re continuing the pursuit and not stopping to appreciate what we already have.
Let’s take an example. You’re working on your MBA. You finish your degree, go to your graduation ceremony, get your hood, and on the way home you’re on the phone to another school about getting a doctorate in business. Sounds a little extreme, right? Of course if you went to the trouble of getting an MBA you’d want to enjoy it.
But many of us get the thing we think we wanted, say, “Hey, yeah, that’s great,” and keep chasing the next thing. It’s almost like we aren’t even capable of enjoying what we have, because we’re so addicted to the next thing. In fact, it’s exactly like that.
Even after all I’ve learned and experienced, I still fight the urge to start that next great adventure before I’ve finished and enjoyed the one I’m on. I often see so many opportunities in my business that I start delving into a subject with the intent of learning a little bit about it – food for later thought – I get so excited and consumed by the possibilities that I neglect what’s right in front of me.
I’ve found that when I’m on that never-ending path, it’s about all kinds of things, but mainly pride, control, fear of failing and rejection, and my desire for freedom lead the list of things I need to check (this is a subject unto itself, so I’ll save that post for a future time).
How can you stop chasing the next big score and learn to enjoy what you have in the here and now?
- First, be aware that you chase achievement and “big scores.”
- Next time you find yourself thinking about how great it will be “when,” stop and focus.
- Spend at least a few minutes every day really enjoying your now, instead of focusing on the future.
Thanks to Small Business Essentials and SEO ROI for including this post in the Carnival of the Capitalists, to boozwatt.com for featuring this in the Carnival of Smarter Investing, and to Venture Files for inclusion in the Carnival of Entrepreneurs.