Pacing and Prioritizing Satisfaction

There is value in being hungry. Not physically hungry, but psychologically. People who are hungry for the attainment of a goal will fight harder than those who are full.

Alex Honnald climbed the fabled rock climbing wall of El Capitan in Yosemite national park, a 3000 ft sheer rock face, without any ropes. That’s right, he free climbed 3000 ft. How did he prepare psychologically? He got hungry.

Alex reported that he erased all social media, all source of entertainment, his girlfriend left him alone for the week prior to the climb, and it was just him in his van imagining the climb. He didn’t imagine succeeding, only the process of climbing. Grabbing each edge, placing his foot in a hold, being up 2500 ft with no gear and wind all around him. For a week before the climb Alex meditated on the process, and when he achieved the climb, he said it felt “as natural as taking a walk in the park”. This walk in the park was the most satisfying day of his life.

There is value in being a little deprived of pleasure, of giving that dopamine system a chance to push you out the door. When we withdraw from the things that bring us joy we are reminded how meaningful they are. Satisfaction comes from pacing and prioritizing the right tasks which bring us joy, because those are the tasks which are reinforced, and those are the tasks which we will repeat.

Hustle it up!

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