What's Worth More Than Personal Achievement?

Time: 3 minutes.

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In many areas of my life I had experienced that personal achievement is a big game to play. The satisfaction and fulfillment I was getting out of the accomplishment was tempting.

Also, as a climber I experienced firsthand that succeeding a climb was giving me joy and happiness. During the heyday of my climbing career I stood many times at the bottom of a mountain or rock face totally psyched to climb it, like the one in the picture. Years of training, pain and suffering just to be on top of a mountain. There was only one goal. Only one, right?
You know, every time I had reached the top and enjoyed the view, just after a few breaths I had already noticed the next most difficult route… And thinking to myself, “Oh, actually I haven’t achieved anything – I must need to climb that too!” So the sheer joy and happiness quickly faded away and I was already planning the next climb. I wasn’t aware of the cycle I was caught up in.

At that time I couldn’t make a distinction in achievement. It was simple, I just had to fulfill my goals. But doing so, I found out that pursuing things in the name of personal achievement, wasn’t giving me more fulfillment. It never fulfilled. Not only in climbing, but in all areas of my life. I was trapped in the fact that doing more would give me more. In fact it did, but only more of the same. And that is exactly how ego-based confidence is rooted. I was blinded by the idea that pursuing goals for self-exploration means doing more.

So to get some clearness in the distinction, I noticed that there was no freedom present. Because if you pursue any goal out of freedom, the ‘in order to’ will disappear. Also, I find out that personal achievement is fleeting, like fulfillment and happiness by the way.
To make the distinction work, I had to start by telling the truth about fulfillment. True fulfillment is calm, and motivated only by freedom. Therefor, it is a desire based on creativity to further understand yourself and your expertness, competence or craft.

You have to make this distinction in order to make it work. I’m not telling you to not set goals and achieve them. I'm asking you to be aware of where your sense of self-worth comes from.

On a more profound level of the distinction I found the difference between contentment and achievement.

  • Contentment: Pleased with your situation a.k.a. being with.
  • Achievement: Something very good and difficult that you have succeeded in doing.
You see, personal achievement is fleeting and it’s depending on the circumstances for succeeding. But if you can find contentment in what you do, if you can find a sense of freedom in what you up to, if you just can be with whatever there’s to be with, you will discover true fulfillment. Meaning you can be pleased in any situation, no matter the circumstances.

The genuine confidence you get out of this will transform your self-exploration. It’s not about the mountain top anymore, it’s about you doing what you do best. Enjoying life and being happy.

Do you know what's going to happen? More joy and happiness in life... and in climbing….

Well, that will save the day….

About the Author

Joeban Machiel. Life Enthusiast. Possibilizer. Coach.

With today's stand of more than 1 million visitors and tens of thousands subscribers I want to leave you here with an experience, rather than to merely impart new information. Don’t just take it as value what you read, test it out and see if it works for you. In any case, even the truth, when believed, is made up. You must experience the truth, not believe it.

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