Some people make the mistake of feeling good only when they have achieved their desired outcome.
If feeling good is exclusively attached to 100% success, you’re not building a mechanism to help you achieve it sooner and more effectively by supercharging results.
When you think about where you are and look at where you want to be or the desired outcome/goal you have 2 options:
Option 1: You may think, “I’m not there” and view your desired goal as a distant object. However, this typically widens the gap and leads to feelings of stress and frustration.
Frustration creates emotional friction and discomfort, which hinders your progress. Your attention is naturally drawn to whatever you focus on, and because your brain functions like a search engine it flags up more examples of whatever you pay attention to.
If you limit your sense of fulfilment and happiness to the full achievement of your goals, you hinder your progress. By only focusing on the end result, you may be neglecting the process of learning to learn, which is often where real growth and change happens.
Furthermore, feeling dissatisfied until you reach your goal can also create stress and frustration, which may demotivate you and decrease the success.
Unconscious learning takes place when the neurons that fire together wire together. By focusing on the gap between where you are and where you want to be, you may be inadvertently wiring emotional friction to the thing you want to achieve.
Option 2: Alternatively, by noticing any improvement, no matter how small or large, and allowing yourself to feel good about the progress you’re making, triggers a release of dopamine.
By firing dopamine and associating good feelings with the process of improvement, you’re creating motivation and helps you reach your desired outcome more quickly.
Additionally this creates a generative change mindset in which the more you notice improvements, the better you feel. And the better you feel, the greater your desire to work towards attaining your goal. The greater your desire to improve, the closer you get to your goal, the better you feel… and so the loop goes around.
While many people view dopamine as the neuromodulator of reward, it’s actually primarily the neuromodulator of desire and motivation and is biochemically closely connected to adrenaline.
By feeling good about any improvement, you’re attaching dopamine to the process of improvement, which can help you reach your goal more effectively.
Successful people, whether in business, sports, science, music, medicine, or any other field, understand that the real prize comes via feeling better about the process of getting there.
Typically their success mindset is they accept that some days they may have a setback and realise that’s part of the learning process and simply highlights what needs to be learnt.
Their focus continually goes back to either noticing improvements they’ve already made or seeing themselves in the future having gotten past any current limitations and feeling good about making future improvements. And feel drawn to the thought of success.
They don’t judge themselves against other people, instead, they calibrate against their own performance, how much better am I today compared to last month, last week?
So to sum up, by linking dopamine with the process of improvement, the closer you get to your goal, the better you feel. And the better you feel about making improvements the more you install a generative change mindset that will help you achieve more, better, sooner.