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How to be happy when you’re ambitious

When you want to be the best…

When you try non-stop to improve your performance — whether it’s your wealth, health, knowledge, or productivity…

Happiness can feel elusive.

Every time you achieve a new goal, satisfaction sets in.

But just for a minute.

Because it fades fast. Then you already want more.

Top 10% isn’t good enough.

Now you want to be in the top 5%

Then the top 1%… and so on.

It can feel like a never-ending treadmill that only gets faster over time.

And while I have no objections to continuous improvement (in fact, I endorse it), I find it frustrating when people convince themselves that only once they achieve their next goal, will they finally be happy.

’Tis a Siren song my friend.

Because in my experience, only getting pleasure from outcomes provides just a brief dopamine rush — not the long-term contentment that most of us really want in life.

So on this Thanksgiving, here’s what I recommend:

Take stock of life.

Write down what you’re truly thankful for.

Think about how worse your situation could be.

And when you look at things through that lens, it’s easy to feel satisfied with everything you have — without sacrificing the ambition that makes you a top performer.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Your pen pal,

Matt Rizvi 

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