I don’t know if this is relatable in the least, but when I have an upcoming event or plan, I invest so much time prior to and during the said event that afterwards, I’m completely lost.
From planning and coordinating my makeup or outfits to actually getting ready and enjoying myself, I feel like for weeks all I can do is look forward to this occasion. Even doing things that are seemingly unrelated to what it is I’m looking forward to becomes much easier to do. Why? Because I connected these disconnected things! I become more studious and more invested in my extracurricular because I believe I’ll feel as though I deserve the time to indulge. Having something to look forward to provides such a strong incentive to think positively about your daily routines that once it’s over, the incentive disappears too. I’ve always felt lost and empty following a large affair. I no longer look forward to return to my mundane life after getting a taste of a condensed, explosive fun. It takes another event to compel me to get my life back on track and I’ve found how devastating this can become.
It isn’t good to live your life from event to event because more often then not, you’ll be unhappy. I can spend a week being excited for something that lasts only a day and spend the next two weeks dwelling on it - wishing I could experience the carefree sensation again. I’ve also found that this links to how we perceive long term and short term gratification. Short term rewards prove to be a much stronger source of motivation than long term simply because it’s something you can nearly see. We can’t relate to the feeling of enjoying a long term reward simply because most of us haven’t felt it yet. We don’t know that THAT feeling is probably ten times more satisfying than the short term ones we’re all familiar with. It’s like studying for an exam when you know there’s a party coming up next week. I know for my own sake that I should study diligently for this exam because it’ll reflect positively on my grade in the class and subsequently my GPA. This in turn offers me a better chance at graduating and being accepted to a graduate school I genuinely want to attend. However, I know my primary motivational force will come from the upcoming party. Why? Because I feel like if I do well on this exam, I deserve to treat myself and go have fun. I’ve been to enough parties to know how enjoyable letting loose can be and turning it into a reward I have to earn is a lot more likely to motivate me than thinking about graduate school because that’s something I’ve yet to achieve. Despite this, I guarantee you that being accepted into your dream school is much more gratifying than attending one measly party. Isn’t this funny?
Again, I don’t know if this applies to more of you but it sure does to me. I’ve been trying to stray away from this mentality, but as the saying goes, old habits die hard. I have bigger goals I want to achieve and more importantly earn. I know that I should be looking at the big picture, the light at the end of the tunnel, but despite this I can’t help but always look forward to the small glimmers of light every now and then in this long dark tunnel we call life.