Today is August 22 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you suffer from Destination Addiction?” People who navigate the chaos have the self-awareness to recognize when they start to suffer from what British psychologist, author, and broadcaster Robert Holden labeled “Destination Addiction: a preoccupation with the idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job, the next house, and so on. Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are.”
Such a concept appeared in Star Trek, season 2, episode 1, in 1968 when Leonard Nimoy’s character Spock says “After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical but is often true.”
Today’s reflection differentiates the pursuit of a goal compared to the goal itself and allows us an opportunity to answer the question “what happens when we achieve our goal?”
For those who navigate the chaos many will say their next step is to start pursuing their next dream. As mentioned throughout this Navigate the Chaos series, you should have as many dreams as you need two lifetimes to achieve; that way you will never be bored.
Suffering from Destination Addiction means you are always seeking, finding, searching, and longing. This condition is also known as the “grass is always greener.” When we believe that obtaining something we do not have will be the secret to our happiness we need to stop and ask ourselves why that is. This wanting of something we do not yet have often shifts our focus from the present demonstrates a lack of self-awareness that in and of itself should be addressed. When you are present and have a strong sense of self-awareness you can then move forward and ‘give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else.
As Holden noted “Destination Addiction is an attempt to get on with life faster in the hope that we will enjoy our lives better. And yet our constant speeding means we frequently run past golden opportunities for grace and betterment. We are so harassed by the insecurity of our forward-seeking ego that we have no idea what it means to live by the grace of God. We seek, but we do not find. If only we could stop a while and let wisdom and grace show us a better way.”
Holden applies a quote from novelist Henry Miller to his explanation of Destination Addiction. According to Miller “One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.” Instead of viewing your path with a destination in mind, perhaps you could consider an endless path where your views change as you walk along.
For Holden, people have the capacity to avoid suffering from Destination Addiction if they open themselves up to accepting grace and being receptive to inspiration. Holden noted “our Destination Addiction often works against us, however, because we are too busy running to be receptive. Hence, we always feel empty.”
The nuance involved with today’s post is that some degree of obsession is necessary to translate one dream after another into reality. Those who suffer from Destination Addiction, however, take their obsession to a point of self-destruction. Thus, self-awareness is critical and why today’s post provides the following assessment.
How often are you thinking about what comes next?
If you constantly think about what comes next are you doing so at the expense of the present moment?
If you are not present in the moment, do you ever wonder how that makes the people around you feel?
How often do you hurry even when you do not need to do so?
If you hurry do you ever ask yourself why you are always moving at such at fast pace
Are you trying to catch up to someone? Have you convinced yourself you are ‘behind’ where you think you should be?
How often do you promise yourself next year you will be less busy?
Do you find yourself making promises to slow down once ‘XYZ’ happens?
If so, you already have some degree of self-awareness helping you understand you are indeed suffering from Destination Addiction.
What in the world is a dream job/home/life and how does one define it?
Is your destination some dream job/home/life? If so, what does that even mean? Are you allowed to change your dreams throughout your life?
Do you remain open to a job you never considered that might cross your path? If you pass that job up because you are waiting for your dream job to come along, how do you know that the one job might just be a better opportunity than you ever considered?
How is Destination Addiction impacting your mental health, emotional health, physical health, and social life?
Are you so focused on your destination that your health is suffering in one way or another?
Do you even allow yourself to recognize how the stress of Destination Addiction might be causing more harm than good?
Can you allow yourself to slow down and take better care of yourself while you continue to pursue one dream after another?