It’s milestone time: I’ve just graduated from my third year of university (having done better than I expected), completed an extra 3 year diploma (on philosophy, theology, politics), just got promoted into (one of my) dream jobs and lockdown seems to be slowly easing.
And I haven’t rewarded myself for any of these things.
If you (and honestly, thanks if you do) watch me on YouTube, you may have noticed I don’t usually do milestone videos. I’ve successfully managed to avoid my 20k, 30k etc Q&A videos. I don’t usually reward myself for academic achievements either.
And this is deliberate.
It’s not that I hate fun (😈). Far from it. I’m actually the most excitable person in most rooms. I will honestly jump up and down at the thought of some good food, a hangout with a friend, fresh bedsheets and finding a new favourite book.
It’s rather that I try very intentionally to avoid the chase. The dopamine rush.
If I enjoy my university scores too much, the dopamine will drive me into a state of rushing, stressed panic to study and quiet down the anxiety of perhaps not getting that joy of high scores anymore.
In the same way, if I pat myself on the back about my YouTube milestones, a video with less views and a week with less subscribers will break my heart.
And trust me, I’m not above these joys at all. I work to subdue them even a bit. To focus a lot less on results and more on the journey. To be more autotelic - where the experience is its own reward.
Where I need nothing more than the process itself. Where my reward, is getting to do the thing in the first place, rather than the social validation it brings me. (or personal, if there is such a thing)
The fun of scripting and editing. The joy of studying and helping others. And the attempted avoidance of my own ego.
Wishing you a wonderful week and so excited to be back!