It’s a crime against the human spirit that we so often disassociate positive emotions from the pursuit of success.
We tell ourselves that It’ll be worth it when we get there, and we grind and crank and endure our way to the goal posts. We man up, suck it up, and shut up—all in the name of making a better life for ourselves. We fake it so we can be somebody.
Our productivity—and results-obsessed society—pathologizes feelings. Business and academic cultures are especially adept at discrediting the intelligence of feelings. After all, following your heart is often illogical and seemingly counterproductive. Not too many shareholders are asking, “What’s the most joyful way to conduct business?”
Scarce are the diet programs and exercise regimens that value happiness or freedom over weight-loss metrics . . . I’d flip for an investment advisor who asked me, “What makes you feel most connected and excited in terms of where you can put your money?”
Discipline can feel wildly liberating. Shrewd, tactical thinking can feel incredibly creative and energizing. I’m not saying that positive feelings can’t exist in pursuit of material goals or within conventional environments. I’m saying that:
… far too often, epidemically often, we go for the external win at the cost of our internal wellness. And that’s because we don’t value our inner attunement as much as we value outer attainment.
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