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The Striver's Curse

Updated: Nov 12, 2023

Most working women I know are high achievers. We're always looking for the next thing in life. Achievement is the name of the game and being left behind in the rat race isn't an option. We'll never "arrive" because that doesn't exist. The trouble becomes, the more you climb, it's never enough.

Continue striving like this for too long and science predicts that high performers will have more disappointments later in life and less satisfaction. It's almost like we're sacrificing the good stuff in the present to obtain what we're striving for in the future. When we arrive at the future with that thing we thought was going to create happiness, it never lasts long.


Happiness is a direction or journey but will never bring lasting satisfaction, unless you can create the life you crave strategically. That extrinsic objective you think will make you happy won't measure up for very long.

Intrinsic satisfaction is where it's at! Intrinsic satisfaction answers the question: What's at the core of who you are and are you willing to strip away everything else to find it? Strap in my friend! Finding lasting satisfaction is deep but I'm here for the ride and to bring practical solutions.



Making more money, accumulating more stuff, buying a newer car, house, or moving doesn't change who you are fundamentally at your core. Picture yourself completely satisfied with life. What do you see? Now start stripping the external away and let us get down to your core beliefs, values, and priorities.


Collectively we should be focused in on desiring less. It's human nature to strive for more and I'm not saying that you shouldn't go for that next level in your career. What I am saying is...will that next level enhance your core beliefs, values, and priorities? If not, maybe it's not the right move for you right now.

There's an ebb and flow to life. It may not be happening right now because it's just not the right time. Timing can be frustrating for us "achievers." We want everything yesterday! Again, go back to what's truly important.

We need a want management strategy! Wanting less increases happiness.


According to Buddha, the root of all suffering is attachment. Where can you let go? Think about these things...

  1. What causes me fear?

  2. Where do I hold anger?

  3. Where do I hold anxiety?

Lasting satisfaction with life comes when we can detach ourselves from the outcome, from other's expectations of us, and from all the stuff. Come to stand on the outside as an observer in your own life.

We've lost most of our possessions twice!

The first time hurricane Katrina wiped us out when we were in route to Keesler Air Force Base. Most of our possessions were in big crates in a warehouse as we were between moves. Everything in that warehouse was destroyed. All of our "stuff" was in ankle deep water completely ruined. I remember thinking about my wedding dress that I so carefully had professionally packed away, the baby pictures, and momenteos of when my kids were young. Completely destroyed!

The second time we were overseas and our "stored stuff" was in a warehouse stateside. We got a random letter in the mail while we were overseas that said: Unfortunately, our warehouse has taken on water and your things were among the many that were damaged. Damaged was an understatement.

Since those two events, "things" don't hold as much meaning to me. Experiences, on the other hand, hold SO MUCH MORE. It's in making memories with the people I love and care about that cannot be taken away. We store our pictures online now so we know we'll always have them!

Don't get me wrong, I still like nice things, but they certainly don't define who I am and those "things" all have a purpose. If there's no purpose, I can (most of the time) turn it down. Although, show me something sparkly and you'll get my attention. I'm only human!


Having the career, the house, car, etc... makes us feel special. Getting to that next level does make us feel special and recognized. People know you, look up to you, want to be you. What they don't see is what you sacrificed to get there.

These are times we never get back because of sacrificing the vital for the urgent. It's easy to get off track from what we said is important, is priority, and core to our happiness.

Be honest with yourself! Where are you sacrificing your happiness and life satisfaction for feeling special? We are all guilty! Let's course correct together and find the path toward the life we crave. Leave the special behind and hold fast to living a life true to your core.

I'd love to hear what this blog sparked for you. Send me a message and tell me about living in your core beliefs!

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