The Human Dilemma: Quenching Thirst With Salt Water

In your firm grasp is only your own throat.

Michael Papas
Mind Cafe

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“The Immortal Rate Race” | James Patrick

Work hard. Earn money. Buy things to justify the work. Need more money. Work harder.

Set goals. Work towards goals. Achieve goals. New goals spawn. Work towards goals.

This is the human condition. An eternal quest to quench an eternal thirst, with only saltwater available for the quenching. A firm grip on life to bend it to your will, only to realize it’s your own neck you grasp.

Let’s take a snapshot, for example, of my situation. I start work at a corporate law firm. I set the goal of completing articles and qualifying as an attorney. When I do, I’m sure, my money, status, and fulfillment problems will be solved.

So I work hard, make sacrifices, and mold myself around the needs of the firm. I push the process. And while the process isn’t enough to make me happy, the promised (or self-promised) freedom of the outcome will. Right?

The outcome is achieved. And yes, the “feel-good” structures of my brain respond to a milestone reached with positive emotion. There’s no denying that, and the obvious preference of it over the failure to achieve, or set, goals.

But what now? To keep my motivation up, I must retain a sense of purpose…

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Michael Papas
Mind Cafe

Insights from neuroscience, non-dual mindfulness, and psychedelics to upgrade your awareness. For gigs or just to chat, get me at michaelpwriting@gmail.com.