When The Fire Inside Does More Than Burn, It Consumes


Better body. More friends. Better grades. More recognition. Better job. Happier relationship. More money.

It never stops. The pursuit for more, the quest for better, and the search for perfection is a never-ending futile battle against a fictitious competitor. The minute we set a goal and reach it is the same minute it ceases to be enough. Our expectations of ourselves are built up so high on unstable foundations that to reach the top would be impossible.

Striving for success is a healthy ambition. Never finding happiness is not. There comes a point where the fire inside to be better does more than burn, it consumes. It destroys all evidence of progress and tells you it’s not enough. It wipes out every last accomplishment as if they were fruitless and irrelevant.

You begin to forget that where you are now, was once where you wished to be. Your brain begins to play tricks on your heart, convincing it that happiness is just a few steps away, a couple more hours of work, a few more sleepless nights, one more zero on the end of your next paycheck. And maybe it is.

But what if it’s not? What if in the process you lose yourself? What if you forget what you worked for in the first place? What happens when you reach that goal and it’s not what you thought it would be? And you look around and your heart was so full of incessant greed there was no room left for the little things, like love, and adventure, and learning.

I wish we could learn to dream and live at the same time. To keep striving but find value in the journey itself, not put off happiness until the end is reached. I wish more people realized their meaning lies not in their paycheck or their body, but in what good they do for others in their little slice of time. I wish more days were spent enjoying life and squeezing out every last drop of opportunity we’ve been graced, instead of wishing we had more.

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