The Joy of Achievement
I’ve been staying at my parent’s house in Houston and these last few days have been a trip down memory lane. In fact, I’ve been sleeping in the exact room grew up in middle and high school.
Seeing all the old photos of my younger days, with hair, and my accomplishments on the wall reminded me of what use to bring me joy.
You see, growing up I never felt like I fit in or mattered as an immigrant in America. To compensate or should I say overcompensate, I would achieve.
I was class Valedictorian, president of the band, president of the science club, math club treasurer, French club, National Honor Society, choir, tennis team…your classic overachiever.
That made me feel important and belong. That’s what brought me joy.
Unfortunately, the joy was fleeting, lasting until the next achievement. It was an exhausting never-ending hamster wheel of expectations.
I had no idea who I was and what true joy was buried deep under all those activities and accomplishments.
As an adult, I appreciate the younger ambitious me doing all these things to feel important and survive.
However, I now see the path to joy and fulfillment coming more from personal growth and contribution rather than personal achievement.
I believe both can happen simultaneously. The difference is leading with the intention of the former than the latter.
I’m curious who here has been an overachiever in the past?
What did it mean to you to achieve?
Is it any different now as an adult?
How has joy evolved for you over time?