Be Your Best

Is it About Achieving Your Goal or your “Chase” to Achieve It?

by on Apr.29, 2016, under Blog Posts

Todd Gifford, President of DEE, with Wayne Carrini of Hit TV Classic Car Show "Chasing Classic Cars"

Todd Gifford, President of DEE, with Wayne Carrini of Hit TV Classic Car Show “Chasing Classic Cars”

I recently had the good fortune of meeting and speaking with someone that I watch on TV nearly every week – Wayne Carini, of “Chasing Classic Cars” on the Velocity Channel.  I love classic cars, and always have been extremely passionate about being around and studying classic cars of all types.

Chasing Classic Cars is based on the concept that ‘it is all about the chase’.  Wayne is a long-time classic car and collector car dealer in Portland, Connecticut, who has had the TV show for a number of years.  It is probably one of the most popular, if not the most popular classic car shows on television.  As he has done in his business for many years, Wayne finds classic cars, buys them, and sells them.  It is typical for Carini to work hard to find or discover a particular car, buy it, and say ‘this one is a keeper and I have always wanted one of these’, implying that he will hang on to it for a long time.  But, ultimately he is in the business to make money and usually sells the car in the same episode or several episodes later.

In the process, it would appear that the greatest thrill of buying incredibly rare, unique, and special collector cars is after they are purchased and owning them and enjoying the cars.  But the reality is that the real ‘juice’ or thrill is in the process of chasing them.  The process of discovering that a particular highly sought after or rare car exists, and the pursuit of the possibility of owning this rare car — the chase — this is best part of it all.  Shortly after the purchase that ultimate great feeling starts to diminish.  You can see this happen in the show.

And really, this is a metaphor for just about everything in life.  It is a constant irony — what you think is the thing that makes you happiest generally is not really the thing that makes you happiest.  It usually turns out it is the ‘experience before achieving the thing that you thought was the thing that would make you happy’ that is the true joy and happiness producer.  This seems to apply to just about everything in my life and, as I speak with others, just about everything in their life to.

Take someone who likes to bake.  In theory, the result of the process of baking (the cake, the cookies, etc…) would seemingly be the thing that makes them happy.  But it is the baking process that really makes them happy.  How about pursuing a certification or degree of some type?  If you asked most people at the beginning of this pursuit what will make them happiest, they would say “to earn my certification or receive my degree”.  But speak to them once they have achieved that goal and they will tell you, 98 times out of 100, “I enjoyed and was happiest in the process of earning and achieving it compared to now actually having the degree/certification I was seeking.“  I reflect on my own experiences of seeking to achieve something specific.  For example, completing a half Iron Man Triathlon event was something I wanted to do.  I felt that once I had completed that goal, I would be very happy.  However, now that I have completed that goal, when I assess how I feel now vs. how I felt during the process of training for that event —- it’s no comparison that my happiness factor was higher/highest during the preparation and training up to and before completing that goal.

Does This Make Sense?

No….and Yes.  On the one hand, we are very goal-oriented, and we are conditioned and coached to set goals and work to achieve them.  I have to say that I am very much this way, and I am a big proponent of setting and writing down goals, both short term and long term.  The most successful people I interact

with are very goal-oriented as well.  It would appear that attaining or accomplishing goals creates significant satisfaction and happiness.  And I believe it does.  I think setting your sights on goals and going after them to attain them is very important.  Targeting something you want, deciding to pursue it, and achieving it set a very good course to follow in life.  But the moment we have achieved that targeted outcome, or fairly shortly after, happiness and satisfaction quickly drops or declines.  This phenomena points to the “chase” as the most important aspect of how we feel over the long term.  The point or moment of achievement only lasts minutes, maybe hours, and rarely for days — whereas the process of chasing that dream or goal or targeted outcome may last many days, months, even years — and for some pursuits, an entire lifetime.

How Many Simultaneous ‘Chases’ is Enough?

How many chases going on is enough?  This is an interesting question to think about.  If it is ‘all about the chase’ and it appears to be largely that, then wouldn’t we want to have as many chases going on at any given time as we can?  I think the basic answer is YES.  And this comes back to goal-setting in my opinion.  I believe it is a smart idea to set a lot of goals for yourself, big and small, short term and long term, and be doing this almost constantly.  Identify goals or targets for yourself, no matter how small or insignificant they might be, writing them down whenever possible.  These become ‘chases’ and some chases may last just minutes, some hours, days, weeks, months, or even years.

Does Achieving a Goal Do Anything?

If the conclusion is that it is all about the chase, and not the achievement itself, what is the value of actually achieving the goal or outcome?  I think it is extremely important to reach milestones or end points with respect to goals, even though there will tend to be a letdown feeling afterword.  The process of closing out a goal achieved (or even partially achieved) is critical to make room for and stimulate new chases to be created, and significant growth occurs.  Find a lot of things to ‘chase after’ and really enjoy the ride of your life!

Be Your Best,
Todd D. Gifford

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