Destination Addiction
Ep. 152
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Destination Addiction.

The constant striving to get to some destination that you’re certain holds all of your happiness and the solution to your problems. 

The stealer of current joy.

The enabler of hustle culture.

So many of our problems are born out of this, often unconscious, belief that it is better “there” than here. We put our happiness and joy on hold with the promise that it will be even better at this unforeseen destination. And, yet, we just keep moving the goalposts. 

On today’s episode, I dive into just how harmful destination addiction is and how to overcome it. 

Also mentioned on today’s episode:

A FREE 4-day challenge to get you UNSTUCK and on the road to your dream career. Register here: www.quitterclub.com/unstuck

Show Transcript
No job, no amount of money, nothing is going to get you to a place where you're all of a sudden like, huh, now I can stop and enjoy myself. After I've trained my brain to constantly call me lazy and attach my worth to what I produce. Right? It doesn't work that way.

Hey, welcome to Lessons From a Quitter where we believe that it is never too late to start over. No matter how much time or energy you spent getting to where you are. If ultimately you are unfulfilled, then it is time to get out. Join me each week for both inspiration and actionable tips so that we can get you on the road to your dreams.

Hello my friends. Welcome to another episode of Lessons From a Quitter. I am so excited you are here. I hope you are well. I am super excited because it's June and this month we are going to do a free challenge. I asked on my Instagram stories, how many people felt stuck. And, um, I got an overwhelming response, like 87% of you said that you felt stuck in your life in some area. Meaning like, you know you don't want to be there but you have no idea how to get out. You feel like you're literally stuck there and you don't know how to get on towards the place that you want to go. We cannot have that. That is unacceptable. I want to do something about that. I want you to come hang out with me. I'm going to do a free challenge June 14th to the 17th so it's four days of hanging out with me, which really what could be more fun. If you come to the free coaching calls every month you know how valuable they are. This is more teaching than it is coaching, but there will definitely be some coaching. And I'm going to give you my framework on like how to get unstuck in any area that you are just using this framework. I'm going to teach you what is kind of getting in your way and hopefully get you guys on that path to the life that you want. And I actually haven't launched it yet. I'm kind of giving you guys the sneak peek on the podcast. I'm going to launch it next week, but, um, you can sign up if you want at quitterclub.com/unstuck. One word unstuck, go and sign up today, come join me. It's free. And it's going to be amazing. And it's going to change your life. And I want you to get moving and not spend another year thinking you’re stuck because spoiler alert, you're not. So yeah, so that's happening. I'm super excited. And actually today's topic really ties into that whole feeling of stuckness. And we'll talk about why I'm excited to talk to you today about destination addiction. Now we've talked about this topic in different ways before, but never really about what it actually is. And so I want to get into it and get into like why it's a problem and how it's tripping most of us up what I see with my clients. Even when you don't realize you're doing this. So let's talk about it. Okay. Just like it sounds right. It's the addiction to thinking that there's some destination where happiness waits, right? Like once I get there somewhere in the future, once I reached that destination, everything's going to be amazing.

Now I've done an episode about how life is both good and bad. And so part of this thinking is thinking that like, once I get there, I won't have negative emotions. I won't be stressed. I'll know how to do everything. We talk about that in that episode. But I think there's more to it than that. There's this idea that like, once I get this thing, I'll also be a different person, right? It's like this like fantasy of how perfect you're going to become. It's like one day I'm going to wake up and I'm just going to have everything together. I'm going to be organized. I'm gonna stick to my schedule. I'm going to rest and balance my life and have self care without feeling guilty about it. You know, I'm going to read that book. I'm not going to yell at my children. I'm just going to be this like perfect person.

And I just have to get to this place. I have to get to some future. I have to get that degree. I have to get that job. I have to get that husband. I have to have this children, whatever the thing is. And we think like once I have that, then of course I'm going to act like this and intellectually, I think we, a lot of us really understand now that that's obviously a lie because we've experienced it so many times. We got the degree, we got the job, we got the family and we still have stress and we're still not perfect. And we're still a hot mess or whatever we want to call ourselves. Part of this is like a message that we keep sending to our brain that like this can't be it because it's not perfect. There's somewhere better than here where I'm a better person. I somehow don't have flaws anymore or weaknesses. I have an ability to control all aspects of myself like a robot. I never give in to procrastination or numbing myself out or distracting myself, whatever the thing is. And like, since I can't do that, this obviously obviously is not the final destination, but like there is something else and there is something more. So part of it is that thinking that there's this place I have to get to where I will be happy and I will be perfect and everything will be great. Okay.

Now the reason that we do this, if you look at like, you know how our brains work, part of it is conditioning from when we are a child, right? If you think about the fact that we are always told to look to the future, right? From when you're a kid you're always asked, like, what do you want to be when you grow up? When you're in school, the focus is always on like doing something so you can get to the next thing. Do well in school so you can get into a good college, right? Like there's all this future talk of like marriage and having kids. And it's as if all of this happiness lies ahead of us, it's just a subtle emphasis of the fact that the excitement and happiness that we are waiting for is in the future. There's so much more there. It's not just this. There's so much more to look forward to. And there is, there's different things to look forward to. But imagine what would have happened is as a child, if you're constantly told to like focus on like enjoying that day, what could you do to really savor or lean into that joy? Right. Not rushing it. Like it's not going to be better when you get there, it's going to be different. There's different things. There's different things to enjoy, but that's not the way our culture works. Right? Our entire focus is the next thing. The next thing. The needing of more, and it's fine to strive. Actually like human beings were evolved to keep wanting to grow. Like we need growth, we get bored. We constantly want to evolve ourselves. And I think we absolutely should be striving, but we should be striving to grow. We should be striving to experience things. We should be striving to push ourselves. Not because then we will be happy. Not because there is a place where all of a sudden it all falls into place and everything makes sense. And everything is perfect. Just because we get bored. Just because like you atrophy, if you don't use your brain, right, you get depressed. And so the question becomes like at what else can I try? How else can I evolve? How wonderful would it be if we did put the emphasis on like, yeah, evolve as much as you want. Keep trying things, but enjoy it right now. And we do have the cliche of like, it's not the destination, it's the journey, right? We all have heard it. And yet none of us are enjoying the journey. We're all so stressed out and overwhelmed and hustling and trying to prove our worth and trying to be productive and trying to get to this place where all of a sudden we can set it all down and just be happy. Like once I arrive at that, as opposed to like, once I work on myself to let go of all this guilt and shame and you know, need to be productive and all this stuff, then I can be happy. It's like, I just have to keep being more productive, whipping myself more into shape, doing more things, getting there faster so that I exhale it's I can get to a place and put it all down.

I know when I explain it like that, it seems absurd. It's like, obviously that's not the way it works. You can't hate your way into a place that you love yourself. You can't hustle your way into a place of rest. You just can't. You have to learn how to rest now. You have to learn how to enjoy now. No job, no amount of money, nothing is going to get you to a place where you're all of a sudden like, ha, now I can stop and enjoy myself after I've trained my brain to constantly call me lazy and attach my worth to what I produce. Right. It doesn't work that way. And yet that's what we do. We still think it's outside of us. We still think if I keep running to that destination. Oh, it wasn't this one, then it'll be the next one. Yeah, I thought it was the degree, but it's not the degree. Now it's the position. Once I get the promotion, once I make more money, once I become partner. And then when it's not that it's like, well, maybe it's just this job. Maybe it's the next job. And we're chasing this like elusive thing that doesn't exist. And I think it's such a bigger problem than we understand. Because I was noticing this with a lot of my clients and I realized it took me a while to understand that this was destination addiction. Like the reason people are having these thoughts. But I think like we can understand the idea of like, once I get this, I'll be happy. But I don't think we realize how pervasive it is in our lives. And I'll tell you what I mean. I constantly get clients who talk to me about the fact that they feel like they are wasting time. Like they already wasted time. They don't want to waste any more time. Like this is one of the biggest things I hear when people, when I talk to them about exploring or searching for a new profession or starting a new career, it's like, well, if this isn’t it I just don't want to waste any more time. And I want you to think about that statement. How is it even possible to quote unquote waste time? What does that even mean? You're living through time. There is no possible way to waste it. How you choose to live it is one thing. But the only way that that makes sense is if you look at it in the context of needing to produce something. Like you have to be productive in that moment or you've wasted it. It has to lead to something. It has to lead to some destination, or it is a waste of that time.

And that is absurd. I want you to think about any other animal, literally pick any animal on this earth, right? I randomly will have to always use the example of whales. You can pick a dog, I don't care. Just think about like whales, right? I mean, is there a need to constantly be producing? It’s like, is one whale more valuable than another whale? They just exist. There is no understanding of what their purpose is, why they're on this earth. It's just a creature that is existing. And as much as humans love to believe that we are different. We are just animals. I'm not trying to get all like super like philosophical and stuff on this. I just, I want you to understand that we have adopted this cultural norm of production, and then we have taken it on as like our self-worth. And we've decided that our whole life is only worth like what we can produce and where we can get to. And so we put ourselves on these hamster wheels, like always trying to get to some destination. And so that's where we create these ideas that we're wasting time cause we're not getting to that destination fast enough. I want you to think about all the joys that we can get from life right now, or like what we think even when we get there. So many of us, what we would consider a joy, right? It might be taking a nap, laying by the beach, reading a book, right? People call that leisure time. That's leisure. And yet when we do it in our everyday lives, we think about it as like wasting time, because it didn't add to whatever the goal is, wherever I'm supposed to be going. Like that is what your life has made up of. And again, the only reason we have this ever-present need of being productive is because we think it's going to get us to that destination faster.

We're not obviously not trying to be productive just to be busy. Most of us know that much. Like we realize like the point isn't just to run around all day, every day. There’s a difference between being productive and busy. But we're so terrified that like, what if this step that I'm taking is not on the path to where I want to go? So it's not productive enough towards this destination. Then I'm wasting time. Then I'm back where I started. Then I still haven't gotten to that place where all of a sudden I get to be happy. I want you to think about how often you do this, how often you think this. Instead of realizing quite literally right now is all you have. That's it. If you're not enjoying it right now, it is highly likely that you will not enjoy it when you get to quote unquote there, wherever that destination is that you've placed for yourself. Because your brain is going to come up with a list of all these other things that you need to be doing that you're not doing well enough. Or that all these other reasons why you're still not perfect and it's still not the destination. And it's still not the time to exhale and just enjoy. And I see so many people who are constantly waiting to try something, right? They like won't let themselves explore. They won't let themselves have fun. Like so much of what I talk about with my groups is like doing things just for the fun of it, right? Just to see if you like it. And we come from such a culture of like, but how do I know if it's worth it? And I'm like, it's worth it because you get to engage in that activity at that moment. That's why it's worth it. But that's not how we look at it. We look at it as like, it'll only be worth it if it's taking me on this path that I need to be on to get to somewhere that I need to go.

And so, so many people stay stuck, right? Talking about stuckness. What I see as the reason so many of you guys are stuck is because you keep telling yourself that there is some destination. And in order to find that destination, you have to find the path to that destination. In order to find the path you have to know which path is the right one. And how can you know? So you're going to keep ruminating over what to do next. What's the next step? I don't know. How can I guarantee that this is the right path that leads me to that destination I need to get to. And we don't realize we're doing this but think about how often you let yourself just try things just to try them. Or how often you let yourself just explore without needing to justify whether it was worth your time or how often you think that you wasted time. I wasted the day. I wasted the month. Where's the time gone? I keep wasting it. Robert Holden has this quote where he says until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else it'll never be where you are. So powerful. I'm all for you figuring out the path that you want to try, the career that you want to be on, but not in order to get someplace so that you can finally be happy. I want you to figure out how you can feel joy and happiness where you are right now. There is no destination that's going to give you this perfect life that you have envisioned and putting off the life that you have now until you get to some destination and then getting this like destination addiction of like, it's the next thing. It's the next thing will have you go throughout your whole life and miss it.

There is no other path but the one that you are on. There is no wasting of time, there's living it. And so you get to start deciding how do I want to live this day? And this month and this year? How can I start adding things where I find joy in it today? How can I just be and allow myself to be without needing to be productive or be on a path or get myself closer to somewhere else where I think that I'm going to be happy? You need to ask yourself those questions. You need to start implementing things that allow you to just be a full human. And when you start viewing your life like that it makes it so much easier to make decisions, right? Because there is no one destination that's going to just change your life. A lot of the reasons so many of us get stuck in indecision is because we're so terrified of making the wrong decision and ending up on some wrong path to some wrong destination. But that's just not possible because whatever step you take is the path of your life. And you can keep fitting and keep trying things. And when you realize really the point is, how do I enjoy and be present from my life today? Instead of putting it off when I have like the perfect career or the perfect family or whatever else I think I need. Then it starts to becoming easier to let yourself move towards the things that light you up. And so I want you to start asking yourself where you are engaging in this destination addiction. Where you're putting off your life until you get to someplace. Where you're not enjoying even the journey like today. Even whether it's building the business, changing the career, you know, dating whatever the thing is. How can you start doing things to realize that like the enjoyment comes from today? I always ask myself this question, how can I do this and have fun?

It's just a good way to bring you back to the fact that today is all there is. And again, I know that sounds cliche, and I know that you have to plan your life and you have to plan your career. I think there's a difference of understanding. Like I know I plan my business and there, I have a lot of revenue goals and I want to make more money and I want to grow my business and I want to impact more people. I just, I'm not waiting to get there in order to enjoy it. I don't think that I need that in order to like my life. I can like these parts. I can like the part when I was doing the podcast and I wasn't making any money and I didn't have any products. And I had no idea what I was doing. I enjoyed that part. And now I'm enjoying this part, growing it, and I'm going to enjoy it once it gets bigger, I don't have any need for it to happen faster. And when I come from that place, I can make decisions from a more calm, strategic place. I can understand like what my business needs, whether I need to grow or not, because I know it's not the money that's going to make me happy. It's not some destination I need to get to in order to feel like I've become accomplished and I can still push myself to grow and I can still push myself to evolve. But I don't need it in order to be happy. So I want you to start figuring out where you're doing that. And I want you to figure out how you can start implementing things in your life to find joy today. All right, my friends go sign up for that challenge. Let's get you unstuck, go to quitterclub.com/unstuck and join me in June. And let's get rid of some of this destination addiction. I'll talk to you guys next week.

Thank you so much for listening. I can't tell you how much it means to me. If you liked the podcast, please rate and review us on iTunes it'll help other people find the show. If you want to connect or reach out, follow along on Instagram and Facebook at Lessons From a Quitter and on Twitter at QuitterPodcast. I would love to hear from you guys and I'll see you on the next episode.