The Rider’s Mind Podcast Episode 90: Destination Addiction 

I’ll be happy when…..
I know I’ll be good when…
Once I do this, I’ll feel better…
Once I lose the weight, get the house, win the rodeo….

If you’re attaching your happiness to an outcome, it’s very possible that you are suffering from destination addiction. In this episode, I talk about the possibility that the whole idea of the human experience is to be happy right now…not when you reach some future destination.

There is a cycle for those of us who love to set goals and achieve. It’s called destination addiction or destination fallacy. It’s basically the idea of “I’ll be happy when…

I’ve made this mistake before and I still get sucked into this trap often. I keep thinking about what to do next and my next goal. But my goal could be to be happy right now, without doing more or being more.  

The first time I qualified for the MRCA finals, I literally said to a friend “I can die happy now”. In hindsight, what’s sad is that I didn’t even realize that there was so much more I could (and did) achieve after that. 

“Destination Addiction is a preoccupation with the idea that happiness is somewhere else. We suffer, literally, from the pursuit of happiness. We are always on the run, on the move, and on the go. Our goal is not to enjoy the day, it is to get through the day. We have always to get to somewhere else first before we can relax and before we can savor the moment. But we never get there. There is no point of arrival. We are permanently dissatisfied. The feeling of success is continually deferred. We live in hot pursuit of some extraordinary bliss we have no idea how to find”.  –Robert Holden

The “hit” we get from achievement only lasts so long. The feeling is fleeting and then we have to keep chasing it. The challenge is when we try to achieve goals in order to feel worthy, whole or to prove something, the destination becomes addictive. We have to keep achieving over and over again because the achievement provides the validation we are looking for.    

Society conditions us to do more and be more. Many of us have felt this inner drive to do more, but what if that’s not the point of our human experience?  Maybe that’s simply ego pulling us in that direction. 

What if the whole point is the experience not the destination?

This morning I did some journaling and this is what I wrote:

People are led to believe that their desires are somewhere else. The truth is all that you desire is peace, security and tranquility and that is stored within you. Allow – feel – follow – breathe – sense – swallow – move – love – rest – embrace – cherish – look – feel it ALL with each sense. Your senses long to experience every experience.   If we move too fast towards the next thing we miss taking everything in, in this moment before we move to the next. It is right here, right now, that holds everything you are looking for. 

Who decided we need to achieve things?

What if the whole point of life is to experience things? Life – living –  moments – laughter – thrills – disappointments – loss – growth – birth – death…..all these things can be found chasing a goal and through achievement but if we are so focused on the goal – have we missed the point?  The experience?

What if we put our focus on the experience and the goal and achievement was the bonus and by product?   

Maybe that’s been the point all along – to be present to the experience. Happiness, contentment, security – it might be closer than we think.    

I challenge you to consider this: What if the point is to make each day the best instead of waiting for your big break or your big win to have your best day?

I’m not saying that we should avoid setting goals and taking steps towards them. We should still work to be better each and every day. What I’m learning is that being present allows us to take in the entire experience right now. 

Sometimes I think we get focused on the future because it’s painful where we are. It’s painful to face the reality of the present moment, so we keep moving.  But maybe we need to face reality for what it is, feel it and heal it so that we can be open to all the good coming our way.

This destination addiction will keep us from the joy we can feel in the present moment. When we’re not here, we’re going to miss out on connection with our loved ones. When we’re not present, we might be missing the feel and connection in our rides. 

I hope you see that you really are enough today and that anything you achieve is simply the “icing on your cake”. 

Don’t wait to be happy. Don’t miss out on the experience now. It’s all in the journey.

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Sources Consulted for this Episode:

Robert Holden’s Blog
https://www.robertholden.com/blog/what-is-destination-addiction/

 

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